A Natural and Supernatural Resource

Lenten Weekday

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; John 5:1-16


Both readings for Mass today speak of water that heals naturally and supernaturally.  The superabundance of water that flows from the temple in Ezekiel’s vision not only sustains the lives of God’s plants and creatures, it even makes the salt sea fresh.  The healing reputation of the waters at Bethesda draw a sick man there, yet it is his encounter with a man in the crowd, Jesus, that leads to his being able to walk. 

At the entrance of our chapel at St. Clare Friary is a bowl of Holy Water.  When I dip my hand in it and make the Sign of the Cross, I repeat a gesture that I was taught as a toddler and am asked to recall the grace of baptism:  my rebirth in Christ, the beginning of my initiation into the life of the Church, and the foundation of my vocation. 

I write this on a cloudy morning in Racine, Wisconsin, where the friars on our Formation Council are gathered with our Provincial Minister at the beautiful Siena Center, a ministry of the Racine Dominican Sisters.  As I write I can look out my window and behold the vastness and beauty of Lake Michigan, a reminder of my roots and childhood in Milwaukee and still part of my life today in Chicago.  The more I have traveled throughout the world, the more I have come to appreciate what a gift we have in Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes.  They are a precious resource. 

Thank you, God, for the gift of water that sustains, cleanses and renews us.  May we be good stewards of this and all the gifts of creation.—JC