Fountain of Youth
‘I am making everything new. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life’ (Rev. 21: 5, 6).
A friend recently commented that I am just as vital today as I was decades ago, when we first met. ‘I am more vital today!’ I insisted. Wrinkles, sunspots and losing time annually in competitive running aside, I mean that Jesus makes us younger in His Spirit as we extend to others the ‘living water’ that wells up from our depths. Jesus’ Healing Presence is a fountain of youth.
The Resurrection makes it so. He is risen and so are we, our very beings primed with the Spirit that broke the power of sin and death. We are His fountains now, overflowing with Divine Mercy for all who thirst. The Blood and Water released at Calvary is now endowed with Spirit, life-changing power; God breathes on this current of life within us, stirs us, and insists we extend it.
The River is here because we are. Like fresh water gushing from the temple (Ezekiel 47), we can’t conceal the liquid love rising in our hearts.
Risen Jesus invites us to become drink for His estranged people. A neighbor of mine, withering under Covid, isolation, ambiguous sexuality, and atheism, rebuffed me for continued efforts to engage with him. I prayed and waited and one day, overtaken by his loneliness, I welled up over the flimsy boundary: ‘It hurts to see you hurting and refusing the Love that wants to quench your deepest thirst!’ He teared up and for the first time acknowledged his suffering.
I invited him into the Mercy ‘pool’ at our Immerse meetings. No go. No problem. Our timing for the hurting isn’t God’s. But many are ready. Now! That’s why Jesus promised to clothe all His friends with ‘power from on high’ so that we can heal all the distressed with one well-aimed touch or word (Lk. 24:49; Mk. 16: 18).
Words often fail the most hurting. Last week at Immerse, it was enough to allow Divine Mercy to surge into the crevice one found herself in. Through the laying on of His members’ hands, Jesus gently lifted her out of despair. Risen Jesus raises us.
It keeps me young in Spirit. The longer I live in the water and extend it, the younger I get. St. John Henry Newman says it best: ‘Let us pray Him to give us the beauty of holiness, which consists in tender and eager affection towards our Lord and Savior, so that through God’s mercy our souls may have not strength and health only but a sort of bloom and comeliness, and that as we grow older in body, we may, year by year, grow more youthful in spirit.’