Living Waters

Living Waters

BY MARILYN NASH | July 17, 2023
Sunday’s Readings

I remember learning the water cycle in school.

Water in the air condenses, forming clouds. As it builds up, it falls to the earth as rain or snow, precipitation that waters the earth, making it fertile and fruitful—finding its end in ground tables or collected in lakes, streams, and oceans. Heated by the sun, this water—having achieved the ends for which it was sent—returns, rising as vapor, continuing this essential cycle.

The first reading from Isaiah—an allusion to this cycle—has long been my favorite discernment scripture. It is deeply consoling, imagining each of us—our lives, choices, and actions—as part of a larger, ongoing rhythm of creation. 

It is not difficult to bring to mind a creation waiting with eager expectationthirsty for the fulfillment of promises, hungering for bread and justice, and more than ready for seeds sown of hope.

Living Waters

We aren’t bystanders, observing this cycle from afar.

We are called to participate fully in God’s unfolding story—with roles enough for all of us, changing with the seasons and contexts of our lives.


Called to slake thirst and to drink deeply, 

to sow seeds and to cultivate the land, 

called to till and to harvest, 

to prepare meals and to sit at tables and be fed.


We are co-laborers, co-creators—fulfilling the purpose for which we have been sent.

Being part of this greater story means tending not only to our own hearts and discernment, but to a common good—to our communities and institutions, our schools, systems, churches, and country.


How are we breaking up clods of fear and hate?

Rooting out choking thorns of racism and supremacy?

Softening the hard, rocky ground of ignorance, scarcity, and individualism?

Enriching and preparing the soil with acts of compassion, equity, and courage?


I believe that this creation of ours can be set free.

I believe in the gloriousness of liberation.

I believe we are promised Living waters; and I believe we are part of that promise.


For Reflection:

  • What are you doing to participate in God’s unfolding story, to tend to your own heart and to the common good?
3 replies
  1. Dr Eileen Quin Knight
    Dr Eileen Quin Knight says:

    I finished reading “No Guilty Bystander” by Frank Fromherz amd Suzamme Sattler. IHM who wrote about Bishop Thomas Gumbleton with such thorougness, passion and clarity. The story of Bishop Gumbleton is filled with how he lived social justice, it is also a story about the authors who cover his life with refreshing and enlivening detaill.
    One of the questions Marilyn asked us in her post to reflect on reminded me of his life and the 2 authors. ” Enriching and preparing the soil with acts of compassion, equity, and courage?” Time after time we see Bishop Gumbleton choosing the somewhat difficult task of staying true to what Christ asked him whether it was in Detroit, Viet Nam, Haiti or the many other areas he brought justice and some equity. His courage was evident in the book, page after page, he was always aware of the needs of the people he was working with. He was exponential courageous in a world that is not necessarity in tune with the workings of the Holy Spirit and His constant probing of each one of us to love each other. I try to find the needs of others like Bishop Gumbleton did and how Marilyn directs us in this posting. It will direct my day more specifically in being courageous in assisting others.

  2. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Life becomes beautiful when spent in service of others and in offering tender care to Planet Earth around us.

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    When we do what brings us a joy filled heart we are at peace with ourselves and the world. Meaningful work for me is tending the soil that provides us with fruit and vegetables and working alongside the Missionaries of Charity to feed the homeless with good nourishing sit down meals, served with love and nourished by the Word of God.


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