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Water, Bread and a Flower

Mark 1:7a, 8

“This is what [John] proclaimed: One mightier than I is coming after me…

I have baptized you with water; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Reflection: a cup of water has very little worth. Two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen. It is so ordinary, so common. But it can unlock the life-giving harvest of a planted seed; it can bring healing to the sick and dying; it can revive the tired, the faded, the exhausted.

A piece of bread is the most basic of foods; it is hardly a feast. But when shared lovingly and gratefully with the hungry, the poor, the forgotten, a single piece of bread is the banquet of heaven.

A single flower. But one rose given to one’s beloved, even a dandelion given by a child to his mother says “I love you” more eloquently than the most beautiful sonnet.

A cup of water, a piece of bread, a flower. Of themselves, not much of anything. So simple, so ordinary. Yet each one can manifest, in its own way, in its own good time, compassion, forgiveness and love that are not less than that of God.

The mystery of the incarnation – the meaning of Christian, the wonder of the Epiphany events of Jesus’ birth, baptism and first miracle – is that nothing is so ordinary that it cannot be sacred; nothing is so common that it cannot be holy when that thing becomes a means for expressing the love of God. In becoming human in Jesus, God makes holy our very humanness; on taking on our human nature, God sanctifies our very lives. When we become vehicles of God’s love, when we become the means for manifesting god’s presence in our world, we become sacred and holy, as well.

May all that we hold, may all that we touch, may all that we are, realize the true miracle of the incarnation – that we and our world are holy and sacred in the sight of God our Father and Creator.

Jay Cormier

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Liturgical Press - Collegeville, MN