Give drink to the thirsty (continued)

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

Last week, we pointed out the necessity of drinking liquids. We noted what happens when we lose water in our body; and how constantly we lose such water. The second Corporal Work of Mercy invites us to provide this basic necessity of life to those who are thirsty. This provision is about giving the material drink to those who are thirsty.

Like we pointed out when we treated feeding the hungry, we are not only to provide the material drink to the thirsty, we are to fight obnoxious structures that prevent equitable distribution of wealth. However, there are some other human behaviours that get against equal distribution of wealth: people's egocentric and selfish desires put the nail at the head.

Pope Francis has been looking at the selfishness of our world today that has prevented people from responding to the needs of others. "Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God's voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too" (Evangelium Vitae, n. 2).

You really cannot imagine the effects of selfishness on the poor masses. But there is no doubt that they cause colossal damage on them because in most cases, what is meant the good of all end up in individual coffers. To give water to the thirsty, we need to thinkless of ourselves. We need to think about the difficulties the needy go through on daily basis.

After all, in Nsukka dialect we "n'oji ezugu bu n'nvo eka ad'gu". If we got the will the share, the goods will go round - no matter how small they are. What is more, Jesus impacts blessings and rewards upon whosoever that gives "a glass of cold water" to the needy (Matthew 10: 42).

However, in giving water to the thirsty, it is important to go beyond the provision of mere water to the provision of something more than water. In Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman, He asked her for water from Jacob's Well. This encounter led Jesus to go beyond the natural water, to present Himself as the Living Water (John 4: 5ff).

Of course, He went further to fortify this presentation of Himself as the Living Water (John 7: 37-39). As Christians, we have the responsibility of not only providing material water to the thirsty, we need also to provide Jesus to those who thirst for God. God is the ultimate desire of every living soul.

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