Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 28
Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Lent
“Living Waters Incarnate”
If you find the Ezekiel reading disorienting, that’s okay. Here’s some context. Ezekiel was a priest serving at the Temple who sees in a vision God’s presence leaving the Temple because of Israel’s sin. Today’s reading describes God showing Ezekiel a new Temple (Ez 40:1-47:12). And this new Temple has a river flowing out of its altar (Ez 47:2-5), into the Arabah (the lowest part of the Dead Sea) giving life to everything in its way (Ez 47:8-9), with abundantly fruitful trees on its banks for food and healing (Ez 47:12). The river’s most amazing feature is that it gets deeper as it moves away from its source—the altar (Ez 47:3-6)! In other words, Biblically speaking, moving waters are life-giving waters. Which makes sense of today’s John’s reading. You see, the dying waited at the Bethzatha pool—stagnant water—for God to move it so that it could be life giving (Jn 5:3-7). Yet, on the Sabbath (i.e.: the Lord’s Day), Jesus heals an invalid without stirring the waters—for he is living waters incarnate (Jn 5:8-9). Yet, the Jewish authorities were incensed that: [a] Jesus “broke” the Sabbath (but how could he? He saved someone on the Lord’s Day!); and [b] he claimed he was one with God (obviously, as living waters is a divine attribute, not a human attribute) (Jn 5:16-18)! Yet, it’s this Sabbath healing that causes an invalid to believe in Jesus, but the Jewish authorities to reject Jesus—to execute the source of life (Jn 5:18). Today, we too find ourselves at a Lenten crossroad: do we trust the living waters, Jesus Christ; or do we reject him?
O God, with whom is the well of life, and in whose light we see light: Quench our thirst, we pray thee, with living water, and flood our darkened minds with heavenly light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.