Life Giving Water

Written by Sr. Rosemary, O.P.

Based on readings from:

When I reread the story of creation, and realize what’s happening weather wise in other parts of our country, my first thought was how blessed we are to live in Florida in February!  Care for Creation is one of our strong Catholic Social Teachings, and Pope Francis tells us: “Creation is not a property which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few.  Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.”

When I was in Haiti a few weeks ago, I was once again struck by the absolute beauty of the land.  Our sister parish is poised in the beautiful mountains and there’s one special spot behind the church where I love to stand and just look out over the vast vista of valleys and mountaintops.  It’s always a joy to wake up each morning and know we would be experiencing another adventure in creation.

One of the things we heard in our Genesis reading was about the abundant life giving aspect of water.  It spoke to me again of how precious water is everywhere and how I take this gift from God for granted.  Watching Haitian women and children fetching and carrying buckets of water for long distances is a humbling sight indeed. Without water, we know we would die.  It is essential for all life.  There is absolutely no substitute for this precious resource, yet we sometimes waste and pollute it…even in our very rivers not far from here. 

God sanctified water from the beginning of creation and blessed it again when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan.  The waters of our own baptism have sanctified us.  And just as we need to drink water in order to live our earthly existence, Jesus invites us to drink of the living water of His Spirit so that we may live eternally.

May we commit ourselves to value and care for this treasured gift of water, use it wisely and protect its purity.  We ask God to look with mercy on people in our world living in dry lands, or flooded lands, and on those who struggle to survive each day without safe drinking water, which the World Health Organization estimates to be 663 million people worldwide.

St. Francis’ pays tribute to water, and highlights our interconnectedness with it, when he says in his beautiful “Canticle of the Creatures”:

Praised be You, My Lord
Through Sister Water
Who is so useful, humble, precious and pure.  Amen.