moving waters

Mar 12, 2024


Bible questions still pop up regularly in quiz shows and they often cost otherwise sharp players much needed points.

I’m ready for a quiz question asking for the two names given to the last book of the Bible. The book known as Apocalypse is also referred to as the Book of Revelation.

It’s common in movies to think of an apocalypse as a devastating and unwelcome time of destruction. However in the original Greek language of the New Testament the word apocalypse means revelation, to make known or literally to pull the lid off something.

There’s an important fact: In our time, God is not hidden but revealed, present, visible, tangible and real – for those who want to experience the divine.

One of the most vivid metaphors in this final book of the scriptures, today’s first reading, is that of the rivers: Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God… down the middle of the great street of the city.”

That reminds me of my primary school geography class where I learnt that human settlements were often established along rivers since rivers supported life as well as providing easy movement to other river communities, then to the ocean, and for the more adventurous, over the 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  we are reminded that “wherever the water flows, it will bring life and health”.

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.

A favourite liturgy author, also the shadow-writer of the beautiful prayer section of the Catechism reflects “All the torrents of love that pour from the Spirit of Jesus flow together in the great river of life.” (Jean Corbon)

I so easily fall into the trap of thinking that I have to work and pray more and harder to get to Jesus. But this powerful image of water, not still and stagnant but bubbling with healing, energy and life, reminds me that Jesus is flowing into me with every breath I take and each prayer I make.

That simple and profound knowledge will keep me focussed for the rest of my life.


Take an initiative and initiate a cafe gathering, or join these gatherings:

Friday 15 March 2024  10.00am. Stumble Inn, 200 Mangorei Road, Merrilands, New Plymouth.  Joan

Email me to add another:

After your gathering send a sentence or two about the encounter.



  1. So comforting your comment Fr.John that Jesus is flowing into me with every breath I take.

  2. At Ash Wednesday the dry ashes of burnt palms; extra opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation as we approach the time to remember the suffering, death and rising of Jesus, the Christ; the same Jesus who went forward for Baptism in the River Jordan among those seeking forgiveness through the ministry of John the Baptist. The sacraments have the power to sanctify fundamentals of our life, such as water.

    Let’s pray for forgiveness of our abuse of water; pray for healing of ourselves and of our waterways; pray that future generations may know the fruits of the Holy Spirit through sacramentally-blessed earthly lives of believers in Jesus Christ. Water can be altered into wine, a drink for celebrating. We know that from the first miracle after Jesus was pronounced Lamb of God at the Jordan. In waht environments, as written above, do we grow in faith?

    May our prayer lead us to “consider and wisely choose the environments in which we place ourselves.” What waterways are those?

    Gratias John.

  3. I love all the ‘click through’ links to the readings and even word definitions and origins (e.g. apocalypse)!


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