Water, light, life

God, with you is the well of life, and in your light we see light: Quench our thirst with living water, and flood our darkened minds with heavenly light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Remembering the sacramental overtones of this week's prayers, today we focus on living water. For desert/nomadic people, water was of course even more precious than it is to us who only have to turn a knob or these days even just put our hands under a faucet and water comes out. The prayer, of course, reminds us of the story of the woman at the well as told in the Gospel of John, whom Jesus meets at mid day when no one else is at the well. He reveals himself to her (I AM) and she goes and tells the whole village about him and brings them to him, making her an evangelist, too. He tells her that he can make living water gush up out of her so that it will spill over and she can give it to everyone else herself. That's my favorite part of that story, honestly.

During Lent when I think of thirst, I think of the prophets and their utterances "Thus says the Lord .... thirst for righteousness... Thirst for justice... Let justice roll down like the waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream..." Water cleanses and washes away impurities as well as sustaining all life. And when we are baptized, it's not just that we are cleansed from sin but also that we take vows (or make them on behalf of our children) to strive for justice and righteousness. We are given that living water (directions for preparing for baptism used to call for running water if possible) and that means we now have it to give to others. We partake of the well of life.

And we carry forward the light in today's prayer as well, which foreshadows the light of Christ that will appear again at the Easter Vigil. God is the source of light and life (through water) and indeed enlightens the world.