“Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
On Good Friday, we will hear once again from the Gospel of John how “immediately blood and water flowed out” of the pierced side of Jesus as He hung dead upon the Cross (Jn 19:34). In that historical moment, no one was much concerned with capturing that precious blood, that life giving water from His Sacred Heart, His sacred side. Pious art and holy icons often show the angles capturing it in a chalice. The spiritual order was only all too aware of what would only become known in time in the natural realm. This Blood and Water would give life, even as they appear to be the last vestiges of His life poured out. The soldier who thrust the lance was simply completing a job, fulfilling a role. He was simply ensuring Jesus was dead. But in the process, he was unknowingly opening the very well-spring of New Life. Christ’s precious Blood and Life giving waters, foreshadowing and fulfilling the Eucharist and Baptism, were poured forth upon the parched earth for thirsty souls.
This weekend’s readings speak about thirsting, the need for water, the desperation and challenge of a dry weary land as well as stone hard hearts. Jesus will encounter the woman in the midst of her natural labors so as to give birth to supernatural faith. He will bring forth in her something wonderful. He will give not just water but life itself, of which water is so very needed – naturally and supernaturally. Jesus, as St Paul will state, is the Rock that Moses struck to give forth water to the thirsty Israelites, just as He is the Rock that brings forth water for us (I Cor 10:4). As Moses strikes the rock to bring forth water, Jesus’s heart is pierced. As from the Sacred Heart saving Blood and Water flow forth, so hardened hearts can at last find relief, life, and love.
During Lent, we find ourselves in the metaphorical desert with Jesus Fasting & Praying. In this Lenten desert, are you attentive to your thirsts? Do you draw near to Jesus? Drink from Jesus? Experience His refreshment & presence? Or do you sate your thirst in the passing passions, possessions, & powers of the world? “Everyone who drinks the water [of the world] will be thirsty again” (Jn 4:13). On Jesus satisfies.
Have you ever utilized the convenience of the 6p Sunday night Mass here at HF?? Are you a regular at 6p? We need your assistance to make that Liturgy possible. We have immediate and pressing needs for Ushers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and Lectors. About 6 people have been filling these roles. They could use some partners.
Ministry Opportunities at Holy Family are listed at: https://www.holyfamilynewalbany.org/mission
Holy Family, Satisfied in Jesus, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries