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Today is World Water Day

Earth, air, water………..and the greatest of these is water. In my mind, water out scores air because it mixes with so many other essential molecules to produce new products/elements, hence I consider it the greatest element for life. Our primitive cell division took place in a sack of watery fluid even before we could breathe, while our mother gathered food filled with watery juices from planet earth. So water is key. Science likewise, tells us 55 % of our blood is water while 70 % of our planet is covered with water.

In 1993 the United Nations General Assembly officially de3signated March 22nd as World Water Day. So how might we creatively celebrate this day? As an example, last year the Windsor Jewish Community Centre put on a Gala Art Show which featured Handle’s Water Music played by the local symphony, while contemporary dancers in the HMN Dance Company gave a breathtaking performance which was followed by an art exhibit on the theme of water. For me it was a beautiful visceral experience which now more than ever, has deepened my appreciation for water. 

Even when it creates chaos, heavy rains and flooding, I sense the anger of water acting out because of the pollution we as inhabitants have created on our planet. Balance in our relationship has been violated and it is ours to restore.

Pat St Louis csj



Jesus and the Samaritan Woman: A Surprise Reconciliation

John is noted for his one on one dialogues, encounters between Jesus and another, which results in insight and transformation. This is what happens in Jesus’ encounter with this lady of Samaria, alone at the well at noon.  She should have drawn her water early in the morning with the other ladies, laughing and talking and hauling up the water for the day, but she has to wait until everyone is inside resting and we find out why. Her life with multiple “husbands” makes her an outsider.

Jesus here is an outsider too: a Jew, in Samaria, where the centuries of mutual charges of religious unorthodoxy and hateful prejudice should have ensured their mutual avoidance of each other.

Then Jesus, shockingly for Jewish listeners, breaks the rules as he requests water from this woman, and she breaks them on her side by even noting his request. The theme of thirst connects them both, over water, the key of life. Jesus’ spiritual promise of an eternally satisfying water only he can give, is met with the woman’s misunderstanding. For the listener, however, Jesus’ promise rings true since our encounter with Jesus does result in that fountain of life springing up like a fountain  inside us.

In Jesus’ responses which show his knowledge of her true life, she tries to distance herself from him, stating the differences in the place of worship which divides their two peoples, but Jesus brushes it away in his promise of a future re-unification of both in the worship of God in Spirit and in Truth. Then, he reveals himself as the Messiah for whom both peoples wait.

Now John shows us the  effects of this powerful spiritual current she has received from Jesus:  she leaves that earthenware water jar there, and instead hurries to the very townspeople she had been trying to avoid  and announces  “Come , see a man who told me all that I ever did. He couldn’t be the Messiah could he?” And they do respond to her call. And amazingly, invite Jesus to stay with them, which he does, for three days. And they tell the woman, “It is no longer because of your words, that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed, the Saviour of the world”.   

This account shows us the effects of the waters of life that spring up from an encounter with Jesus: it is the complete ignoring of prejudices, suspicions and long held separations justified on religiously self-righteous grounds. Rather there is a free and refreshing outreach in love and care for others, a reconciliation, and a union, which is a worship of God in Spirit and in Truth.

Sister Wendy Cotter CSJ, Ph.D.              




Weekly Pause & Ponder

The wave of the future is on the local level. Don’t waste your heart and mind trying to pull down what is already destroying itself. But come into where you’re almost below the radar and reorganize life. We want communities where we live and work and fight for the future.

Joanna Macy.  www.azquotes.com



Embrace the Ordinary

The season of Lent offers each of us an opportunity to refresh, renew, replenish and reawaken to the mystery of Gods’ loving presence within life. It is frightening to face our patterned responses, established safety nets and the boundaries that our language, assumptions, fears and experiences can create. At the essence of our csj spirituality lies the pathway to freedom from our clever sophistication and ego needs. Embrace the ordinary. Herein lies the wonders, delights and marvels of God's revelation. Simple humble acceptance of our fragile, incomplete and vulnerable selves will strengthen us in this journey. It will be the bridge that allows diversity to flourish without fear and creativity to chart the pathway forward. This season challenges us to remove the lens of familiarity and comfort and stand before our naked reality with trust. We are called to climb the mountain of clutter that distracts us from the mystery of life and love. This takes real courage and the love of Christ that has gathered us together in One.

Marg Keller, CSJ



Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.