“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but 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.”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
WHAT A PRECISE AND INSPIRING COMPARISON between the water of life and the water of this world to which all people throng to drink. Christ adds that whoever drinks from the water of this world will thirst again, and if he refrains from drinking it he may die of thirst. Then Christ returns to present the water, which is not actually water according to the characteristics and essence of natural water. The water he gives has different characteristics and essence, and whoever drinks of it will never thirst. What is this water?
It contains a mysterious internal thirst quenching ability, through the Spirit. The one who drinks of it remains in a state in which he is never thirsty again. What is this water?
By necessity its work affects one’s very being, for it reshapes the human being so that he is raised high to the level of a spiritual being that transcends the body, the world and time. He becomes a heavenly being that faces neither death nor weakness and from whom bursts secret, unseen springs of living water which Christ gives. He fills the human with a spiritual being by which he lives forever. The nearest concept by which we can help the reader comprehend this wonderful mystery is the Word of God. When a man hears it through the Spirit his whole being is enveloped and his thirst is completely quenched and satisfied. If the Word of God is firmly established in a man’s spiritual being, it overflows from his mouth and heart and quenches the thirst of everyone who hears and receives it in faith.
We know that the Word of God is living and active, and it pierces the hearer who is open to it. Like a two-edged sword, it cuts into things concealed with the finest accuracy.1 It hits the mark, and in doing so divides the soul and spirit, that is, what man hides in the depths of his being. It exposes him so that man becomes naked and revealed before God. The water of this world quenches the human’s thirst so that he lives for another hour or so, but the spiritual water which Christ gives causes him to live forever. It not only quenches thirst but also gives fullness of grace, love and eternal life. The water Christ gives is called living water because the life of Christ is in it, so whoever drinks the water of Christ ends up being filled with Christ, in other words, he is filled with the life of Christ.
Drinking from the water which Christ gives becomes a mysterious calling to enter into the life of Christ and so eternal life.
Christ calls to drink from the water he gives in this way: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”2 …living water. Here Christ of course is pointing to his teaching, and thirst here is thirst for the Word and knowledge. Everyone who accepts Christ’s teaching and live it through the Spirit becomes a teacher of the Word who gives others to drink the water from which he drank and remains forever in him.
This was how Christ’s teaching spread and the Word bore fruit until it covered the face of the earth. When the teaching of Christ has saturated all peoples and nations, the world should be ready to receive the appearing of Christ in his second coming. For now, nothing connects man and Christ except the Word, so if the Word reaches the ends of the earth, humanity will be prepared to receive the appearing of Christ. For with the appearing of Christ man appears, that is, in him the life of Christ is revealed in glory.
July 22, 2005
1 See Hebrews 4:12.
2 John 7:37.
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