This morning found me out the door early for a change. It had been almost three Sundays since I’d made the trip from Franklinville to Mt. Irenaeus. I’ve fighting off the flu and now a real tough chest infection. I’ve been down the last few weeks in a slump I haven’t been able to shake. I’ve been in the desert again. Today was gray and cold but I donned my hat and coat and climbed into the car. I stopped in Cuba, New York at the Giant Food Mart there to pick up some food to bring to the Mountain then climbed back into my car and took the old Friendship Road which is for slow pokes like me. I prefer driving at 40 or 50 mph and that invites a lot of hand gestures as well as aggressive drivers tailgating. I frequently pull over to let them by. I finally got to Hydetown Road and made my way up the dirt road to Holy Peace. Today my drive was even slower and more deliberate and once I broke onto Roberts Road my pace slowed even more.
After parking my car, putting the produce in the refrigerator and greeting Br. Joe, Br. Kevin and some of the students who were in the House of Peace, I made my way slowly up the hill to the chapel. I was greeted by Fr. Lou McCormick, OFM who asked me to do the first reading at today’s Eucharist. “It’s from Ezekiel,” he said. I walked slowly to the front of the chapel and picked up the lectionary to review the first reading. These words written thousands of years ago spoke to me today as though they were written by someone who knows me well.
The angel brought me
back to the entrance of the temple,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the southern side.
He said to me,
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”–Ezekiel 47
I have been dry, very dry and I needed the water in the sanctuary today. Psalm 63 has been with me a lot lately and often I think of it. I keep it bookmarked on my Blackberry and look at it often.
O God, you are my God– for you I long! For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts, Like a land parched, lifeless, and without water.–Psalm 63