Yesterday we talked about shifting our perspective when we invite Jesus into our lives on a daily basis. We can see how our relationship with creation can shift from manager to co-worker. Today and the days following we are going to look more closely at our relationships with some basic human needs to see how our invitation to Jesus could improve them.
Let’s start with water. I know it is Advent, but one of the key phrases of Lent, another liturgical season full of opportunities for active anticipation, is Jesus’ words from the cross “I thirst.” Many saints, including the recently canonized St. Mother Teresa, emphasize the importance of these words and dedicated their lives to satiating Jesus’ thirst for for the conversion of souls. This is indeed a right and true interpretation of these words. However, it is also important to see the other side, the literal side. Mother Teresa did this well. She recognized that in order for souls to be saved, the body should also to be nourished.
Jesus did as well. Before explaining about the Bread of Life, Jesus fed the crowd. Before forgiving sins He typically healed the individual’s body. His very first miracle was to refill everyone’s wine glasses at a wedding. Jesus was definitely concerned about the spiritual state of the Jewish people, but he was also very much in tune with their physical needs.
- 42,000 people each year die from poor water quality and the absence of adequate sanitation
- 2.6 billion people are without proper sanitation facilities
- Each year, inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene contribute to the deaths of 1.5 million children (statistics from World Hunger and Dehydration)
These are big statistics but important ones. While many of us in the United States may be shielded from the harsh realities of what it means to go without water, there is clearly a large portion of the world that lacks this basic necessity. Not only are we shielded, many of us are picky about our water. Bottled vs. tap. Flavored vs. natural. We invest in filtration systems, infusers and and specific brands. With so many without water, one has to wonder:
“Is clean water a basic human right or a product for sale?” (Horan, Daniel. God is Not Fair. (2016). pg 26.
That is the question I would like to leave you with for today. But before you ponder it and what implications your answer could have, be sure to say the Sign of the Cross and invite Jesus into your conversation.
***How did your list writing go yesterday? Are you seeing your relationship with creation in a new way? Please feel free to share your experience, thoughts and offer support to one another in the comments, on Twitter with the #DailyGraces or on the Facebook page.