Saint John of God, Religious (Optional Memorial)

I saw water flowing. (Ezekiel 47:1)

The prophet Ezekiel paints a picture of a beautiful stream that originates in the Temple and grows deeper and wider as it flows outward. It begins as an ankle-deep trickle but becomes a river that can be crossed only by swimming. It flows out over the whole land, bringing and sustaining life wherever it goes. It even turns the salty, toxic waters of the Dead Sea into a source of refreshment and promise! Wouldn’t you love to be near that stream?

Well, you can! Every time you celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this healing, rejuvenating river flows into you. It refreshes you and gives you a taste of new life. All the toxic waters of sin are driven out, and you are washed clean again.

Where are you in the stream? Ankle deep? In over your head? Somewhere in between? It doesn’t matter! Wherever you are, God is inviting you to go deeper with each confession. Don’t be afraid to wade or jump in, splash around, and get wet—go ahead and open up to your confessor a little more. Unlike earthly streams we have managed to pollute, this stream can wash everyone clean, no matter how great the sins we bring into it. That’s because it is the river of God’s mercy. And his mercy never fails.

Is there an area where God is inviting you to be cleansed and renewed? Take it to the sacrament so that you can soak in the soothing waters of God’s forgiveness. And don’t worry about jumping in over your head either. Try your best to let go of all the sins on your conscience. Just relax, and let the Spirit carry you.

Then, the next time you come to church, pause by the font of holy water. If your church keeps it dry during Lent, take time to reflect on your thirst for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit at Easter. If it is filled, pay extra attention as you make the sign of the cross. You are his! You are redeemed! That stream of life will grow deeper and stronger and more life-giving every day. It is carrying you, empowering you to be an agent of healing and refreshment to everyone around you.

“Jesus, I thirst for you. Let the water of your new life flow into me. Come, Jesus, and wash me clean!”

Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
John 5:1-16