Jesus said that… “whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We, who have encountered Christ like the Samaritan Woman in John’s Gospel,(Chap. 4:4-42) have come to experience the Living Water of His Love and found that in our personal relationship with Him He always satisfies our spiritual thirst. Through our encounter with Him, His Presence is also transforming us, for He is now in us to lead us and to guide us as we respond to His call to attend to the work of the Kingdom and proclaiming the Good News.
In proclaiming the message it must be made clear that the term “living water” is not just a made up symbol, representing some vague theological concept or myth. They are the Words of God offering us an entry to a spiritual reality that transcends the reality of this world, a realty that can be experienced by us here and now. An experience that will satiate the thirst and hunger of our souls, a thirst that only a living and intimate relationship with Jesus can fulfill.
The Father does not give us this Living Water merely to save us. No, He gives us access to this Water, that is His Love, so that in being conformed to the image of His Son we may also be channels of His Love to the world as extensions of the ministry of Jesus. That is why Jesus said as He attended feast of Tabernacles, that “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”(John 7:37). For we are all called to be Streams of Living Water, which is the life of Christ in us.
But if we are truly to be channels of His Love that Living water in us must be kept flowing if it is truly to bring Life. Brethren, we have not been called to distribute bottled water we have been called to channel the streams of Living Water that have been entrusted to us to flow from us to others and to do that we must keep it flowing! We do that by proclaiming the Good News in word and witness empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The Truth we must proclaim is that the true and eternal reality which the Father offers us through the blood of Jesus, His Son, is more real than our earthly existence and, indeed, it is this reality that brings us to Life – Real Life, the Eternal Life of God in us. And that only by partaking and experiencing this Life through faith in Christ can we really come to the place where we know God and are known by Him.
When we proclaim these Good News in words and witness those to whom we minister will begin to understand because the Holy Spirit will work in them, so that in their hearts will be opened to know that the Father is offering His Love to them personally. Through this spiritual hearing they may thus comprehend the reality of what is being offered to them and turn to Jesus in faith, bringing them to a personal encounter with The Rock of Living Water. It is only then the spiritual hunger and thirst that pervades them will be satiated and the Holy Spirit will begin the process of transformation in their lives.
Yes brothers and sisters, it is through our word and witness, that people come to understand that there is a knowing beyond knowing and an understanding beyond understanding, just as there is a hearing beyond hearing, a seeing beyond seeing and a Life beyond this life. This Life that I refer to is th Life of God. It is His Love. That is the Living Water that He offers to us freely through the sacrifice of His Son. And it is this Living Water that He has poured into us, by His Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5) for those of us who have come to Christ through faith in Him.
Now it is clear that we cannot transmit that which we ourselves have not experienced. So the precondition for us to be channels of Living water is that we, in our spiritual thirst, have come to Christ and established a relationship with the Rock of Living Water so that we have access to the Love we are to channel. Assuring and maintaining that relationship is essential.
Assuming we are in such a relationship, what then are the obstacles to releasing this water to those around us?
The first obstacle we usually encounter is our inadvertent ignorance, for we assume that since we are vessels containing Living Water that the Water of Life will flow from us automatically without out our doing something about it. After all we say “if grace is to be grace then we have no part in its manifestation through us.”
Yes, it is true that the Holy Spirit may work around us and is with us but the Holy Spirit respects our free will and will never impose Himself on us. No, we have to make a choice to yield to the Holy Spirit so that He can work through us and in us. And sadly, because of ignorance, some of us have never made that choice and yielded ourselves totally to the Holy Spirit.
Oh, yes we may be very active in our parish and are involved in many charitable works of mercy, but that is exactly the point. It is something WE are doing not something the Holy Spirit is doing in us and through us. This happens because our flesh resists surrendering to the Spirit of God but wants to retain control even when we do religious things. In order for the Holy Spirit to work through us, we have to let Him take over and let Him guide us and lead us into what He wants us to do, not what we want to do for the Father.
In order to do this we have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and we do this by accepting His call and asking Him to activate our spirit to His Leadings and to anoint all that we do in obedience to His guidance. That is the reason the Father has provided us with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. To activate the gifts and anointing that we need to be true instruments of His Grace and channels of His Living Water to others.
Jesus Himself is our example, who, after accepting His calling in being baptized by John, received the Baptism in the Spirit to activate the anointing He needed to fulfill His calling. Yes, even Jesus needed to be anointed. In fact, this is what He said in addressing the congregation in Nazareth shortly after receiving the anointing of the Holy Spirit:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Since the anointed Son of God is in you – you also, share in that anointing – an anointing that is distributed as the Spirit wills to the body of Christ.
It is our responsibility, then, to seek out our calling and gifts under that anointing. and when you have ascertained these, accept them in faith, and in loving obedience follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit who will also anoint you to fulfill the Father’s call to be a channel of His Love, the Living Water of Eternal Life.
Because we still retain our human failings, however, there are many circumstances in the world that may cause us to suppress our calling and our gifts. But that is also why the Lord gave us the sacraments and an additional grace, the gift of community. For it is in an accepting and loving community that we discern our gifts and our calling and it is this community that validates our calling and fosters and nurtures the spiritual gifts in us so that it may send us forth to take the Living Waters to others.
Let us, then, not neglect the gathering of ourselves in community (Heb. 10:25) for it is there and through the graces received there that the fountains of Living Water in us are revitalized in us.
May the Living Waters flow through you all for the Glory of God the Father!
Baruch HaShem! Blessed Be The Name! To Him Be Glory and Honor Forever!
Amen and Amen!
© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009].