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Tuesday, April 4, 2000

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St. Isidore

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Psalm 46
John 5:1-3, 5-16

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the water fountain

"There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst." —Psalm 46:5-6

In less than three weeks, hundreds of thousands of catechumens will be baptized on Easter Vigil. At that time, the billion Catholics in the world will be asked to renew their baptismal promises. In preparation for this greatest event of the year, the Church will read to us on Easter Vigil how the Lord used the waters of the Red Sea to free His people after their Exodus. On Good Friday, the Church will also read in the Liturgy of the Passion how blood and water miraculously flowed from the side of the crucified, dead, and pierced Jesus (Jn 19:34). Today the Church proclaims Ezekiel's prophecy of the miraculous, world-changing river flowing from God's Temple (Ez 47:1ff). In today's Gospel reading, we hear of the miraculous healing pool of Bethesda (Jn 5:1ff). The Church is proclaiming through the Scriptures that the Lord has done and has promised to do His greatest works through water. Truly the waters of Baptism are among His greatest works. Therefore, our most important decision in life is to give our lives totally to Jesus and thereby live our Baptisms.

Fast and pray in preparation for the renewal of your baptismal promises. Go to Confession. Forgive and be forgiven (see Mt 6:12). Obey God, especially in the most difficult circumstances. Prepare to renew your baptismal promises.

Prayer:  Father, I will "come to the water" (Is 55:1).

Promise:  "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." —Ez 47:9

Praise:  St. Isidore founded schools and seminaries, wrote an encyclopedia and a history of the world from creation in order to spread the word of God.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Lent and the Renewal of our Baptismal Promises.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999