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Outside, the sound of rain.

Inside, words of water changing form.

In water, we see the changing states of matter, from vapor to liquid to solid and back round again. Water makes visible the inner workings of the invisible. That makes it the natural medium of the Christ. It is why we use it to join the human person to him in baptism.

The Daily Office readings during Lent turn to Exodus and John's gospel. Reading both for signs of Christ, we hear him working wonders over water.

And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’” – Exodus 7:19 (RSV-CE)

Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. – John 2:7-8 (RSV-CE)

A surface reading sees only contrast between Old Testament and New, one a plague the other a blessing. Trouble the water. Read deeper.

Wonder works through water because God is who God is. The very essence of God is God’s existence. And the Logos as God the Son reveals an even deeper mystery: God incarnates, making spirit into form. God pours Spirit into form to make a world, like clouds becoming rain becoming ocean becoming glacier.

These are stories of transmutation: the form of water becomes something other, revealing the one who works the change. We see the One working changes in many ways.

We see the ordinary life of Jesus transfigured, his body a brilliant lens to focus our vision on his Divine reality.

The eyes of faith see his Incarnation culminate in transubstantiation, the form of bread and wine remains while its substance, its nature, becomes something new. When received in faith, he enters us even more deeply and, through us, enters into the world as we emerge from every mass.

That human self, therefore, is an image of the invisible God’s incarnating action, Christ's means of penetrating this visible world. Like the signs in these readings, both our being and the world it inhabits signify beyond themselves to the one from which we flow.

How then, do we choose to flow? Are we blessing or curse?

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Except where otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1965, 1966 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.