Rivers of Living Water

| April 1, 2011 Print

Lucy Consler, CCAO Intern

Upcoming Dates

  • April 2 – CCAO Annual Lenten Retreat
  • April 2 – Voice of the Voiceless Solidarity Dinner in El Paso, TX
  • April 10 – Application deadline for June Mission Exposure trip to Peru
  • April 15 – Application Deadline for Fall Advocacy Internships
  • April 12 – Global Day of Action on Military Spending
  • April 18 – Columban Advocates Conference Call (join the Columban Advocates at groups.google.com/group/columbanadvocates)
  • April 22 – Economic & Ecological Way of the Cross in Washington, D.C.- Contact Ryan Murphy for more details
  • April – The CCAO is accepting applications for Teaching in China-AITECE
  • May 1- Fr. Sean McDonagh will receive the Annual Partnership for Global Justice Award in New York.

Water is an important symbol used throughout Scripture.  It is a symbol of life and of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him (John 7:38).”  Water is used to symbolize purification.  We are reborn and reconciled through the waters of baptism.  Jesus was baptized with water from the River Jordan by John the Baptist.  Water is a symbol of hope.  During this Lenten season, we see water as a sign of purifying ourselves for the passion and death of Jesus and the hope of His new life through the resurrection.

Before His passion, Jesus retreated to the desert to fast and pray.  He did not eat, and He did not drink water.  He willingly gave them up.  Unfortunately, throughout the world, there are nearly one billion people who do not have access to safe drinking water.  Devoid of this symbol of life, they face real death.  About four thousand children die every day from diseases caused by drinking unsafe water.  The water that we see as purifying in Scripture is in fact quite the opposite for many of our brothers and sisters.  About 2.5 billion people worldwide also lack access to improved sanitation.

March 22, 2011, was World Water Day.  That week, people from all over the world gathered in our nation’s capitol to advocate for continued support from members of Congress for water and sanitation issues. You, too, can show your support for water issues through the Lenten traditions of fasting, almsgiving and prayer.

In addition to fasting from a favorite food or hobby this Lent, consider giving up a minute or two from your shower to conserve water.  Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.  Consider investing in an energy efficient washing machine and only run full loads.  Every sacrifice you make, offer it up to the Lord. Give alms this Lent by donating the money that you save from conserving water.  Work towards sharing our water resources with the world by writing a letter to your Congress person urging him or her to support water and sanitation issues.  Finally, keep in your prayers this Lent the many people throughout the world who go without access to clean water and sanitation.  Water, in its profound symbolism of life and hope, unites us with all of humankind.  It is a basic human necessity.  Let us ensure that it is protected for all, this Lenten season and always.