"rivers of living water" (jn 7:38)
"I saw water flowing." —Ezekiel 47:1
Water trickled "from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east" (Ez 47:1). This trickle became a great river which emptied into the sea and made the salt waters fresh (Ez 47:8-9). Wherever this river flowed, it brought abundant life (Ez 47:12). In today's psalm, the psalmist refers to "a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God" (Ps 46:5). Because God is present in His city and at this stream, this stream is a river of peace where the Lord stops "wars to the end of the earth" (Ps 46:10). Our gospel reading mentions the water of the pool of Bethesda, a spiritual whirlpool which gave healing to the first person plunged into it after it was miraculously agitated (Jn 5:7).
The Church has chosen these Biblical readings about water to prepare us to renew our baptismal promises in two-and-a-half weeks. The waters of Baptism are much greater than Ezekiel's river of life, the psalmist's river of peace, or the healing pool of Bethesda. The waters of Baptism are greater than the flood waters at Noah's time, the waters of the Red Sea, and even the River Jordan in which Jesus was baptized. When we renew our baptismal promises, we reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises. We believe with all our hearts in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Thus we will know the life-giving, soul-saving, cleansing, freeing, and healing powers of the waters of Baptism. Prepare to make the greatest act of faith in your life.
Prayer: Father, I plunge and immerse myself in the waters of Your love.
Promise: "Remember, now, you have been cured. Give up your sins so that something worse may not overtake you." —Jn 5:14
Praise: Jesus changed Thomas' life when someone gave him a card to celebrate his baptismal anniversary.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998