One of the first things I remember learning in primary school geography was that human settlements were often established where there were rivers.
Rivers enabled and supported life and provided easy movement to settlements downstream, then to the ocean and, for the more adventurous, over seas.
The bubbling healing waters at the Bethesda pools in Jerusalem were a gathering place for those who sought healing and today’s first reading reminds me of my form one geography class: “wherever the water flows, it will bring life and health”.
Most Food For Faith readers don’t have to work too hard to find clean and healthy water since taps throughout the house provide all we need.
But perhaps in our “civilised” and “developed” world, with easy access to much that our ancestors had to plan and work for, we overlook many other things we need in order to live happily and healthily.
In the same way as the people in today’s scriptures placed themselves at life-giving and healing waters, we people seeking to grow in faith will carefully consider and wisely choose the environments in which we place ourselves.
The wise will avoid places and entertainments that (and people who) might not help us to grow in faith.
Instead let’s choose environments and company which lead us to more abundant living.