Saturday, March 26, 2011

Living Water: A Theology of the Body Lenten Reflection


"The water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life"

Life, good. Death, bad.

Talk about a bottom line....from Genesis to Revelation, its speaks to the core of every commandment, covenant, prophecy, poem, doctrine or story. God is Life and being made in His "image and likeness", we too have been given a choice to share in Life as our inheritance. But that's where it gets sticky...Life is a gift. We must ask for it and then receive it. It can't be grasped, re-engineered or "self-made".

Being human means being in constant need. While Lent is a time for us to return to a keener sense of our true needs (versus the many counterfeits) we also come to a keener sense that our needs - those things that truly give us Life - only come from God. Drink, food, even shelter have their earthly attractions, but in the end none truly satisfy our physical needs. Love, security, identity and peace each have their earthly attractions, but in the end none truly satisfy our spiritual needs. Every earthly attraction has its promise of satisfaction, but it always fades. Invariably, a need returns demanding our attention.

But what has God offered us from "the beginning"? Life. Superabundant Life. If only we would choose Him - as the one source for true satisfaction - He will provide us water from a rock or a well, but really for the greater purpose of drawing out our thirst for Him as the Living Water. He will give us our daily bread from the heavens like any good Father, but with the greater purpose of giving us a hunger for the Living Bread from Heaven. God grants us many kinds of love with each other, but only so we may hear His proposal for an eternal union with Him who is Love - the only Love that satisfies.

Pope Benedict XVI has said we have lost our taste for God. The woman at the well shows us how to restore it: listen for the voice of the Lord right at the place of our needs. Come to the truth of who we are - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and reveal the whole truth of ourselves to Him. Then, He will reveal Himself to us and fill us with "water" that will become in us "a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Only in this spiritual nakedness - without shame - before God, can we enter into this communion with Him.
Life, good. Eternal life, very good.
By Damon Owens, TOB Institute

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