Very Rev. Fr. Joychen Paranjattu,
Vicar General Diocese of Rajkot
Jn 7 Rivers of Living Water
Seeing the spiritual void in the lives of people Jesus cries out: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and let the one who believes in me drink”. There is a genuine desire in Jesus to give to the people what he came to the earth for. He wanted to give the Holy Spirit to them. But there is one condition: they need to believe in Jesus. If they believe: “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water”. To become a source of lifegiving water, one has to clean one’s heart with the grace of God. He has to be totally under the guidance of the Spirit and away from anything that would make the heart unclean. The heart has to be pure and holy to give lifegiving water. Jesus teaches us: blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God”. Yes, the pure in heart will not only see God, but also enable others to see God, by allowing oneself to be guided by Jesus’ teachings and the Spirit of God. For such a person, faith takes precedence over everything and God is in total control of his life.
Jesus himself is the source of lifegiving water. His words were lifegiving. His words healed the people from their infirmities. His words raised the son of a widow who was dead. His words healed the blind, deaf and mute. He could heal the paralysed with the words: “Your sins are forgiven. Get up, take your mat and go home”. Jesus could perform miracles with the power of God’s spirit. He was one with God the Father; and the Holy Spirit too was with him throughout his public ministry. When a believer allows himself to be guided by God’s Spirit, he is given the privilege to become the source of lifegiving water. His heart would truly be pure when he is washed in the blood of Christ. Holy Spirit was given to the believers only after the death and Resurrection of the Lord. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of the Pentecost that they could perform many miracles as Jesus worked in and through them. Do we really wish to be spiritual people, living in the Spirit?
Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (8:12). Light removes darkness. Darkness is symbolic of the evil present in the world. Many people who live in darkness have been led astray by false teachings. They were into bad company. Nobody corrected their ways and showed them the right path. As a result, their lives were lived in hatred, jealousy, anger, enmity, and revenge. Such people were never been touched by the love of God. They might have never experienced their parents’ love nor God’s love in their lives. They might never have received education. They might be illiterate. As a result, they have in their hearts only what they have received from people who spoke of hatred, war, and destruction. They might have been abused in their childhood and there was no one care for them, protect them, and teach them the etiquettes of life. Such people have become terrorists, addicted to drugs, smugglers, pirates, and murderers, and must have fallen into every sin. It is to them that Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life”.
If Jesus becomes the guiding lamp that illumines the lives of aforementioned people who live in darkness, they will become amiable and compassionate persons. Jesus as the light of the world, teaches us to be merciful, gentle, kind, compassionate, helpful, and forgiving. A person who believes in Jesus cannot kill anybody. He must be protecting the life in all its forms. Jesus’ teachings invite us to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. He invites everyone to love as He has loved us. Yes. He teaches us to love even the enemies, to forgive them and to pray for them. A person who listens to Jesus and shapes his life, his words, and deeds according to Jesus’ teachings, would come out of the darkness of his life and will have the light of life. This is the call of every Christian: to lead the world out of darkness into the light of Jesus and save the world from every evil, war, and strife. Amen!