Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Sonja Corbitt

3/8/2010 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (

As your Lent becomes dry and weary, draw from this well of Living Water flowing from the stricken Rock. Receive the Holy Spirit.

Refreshment and restoration, rushing, flowing, moving, springing, redeeming, musical, quenching water.

Refreshment and restoration, rushing, flowing, moving, springing, redeeming, musical, quenching water.


By Sonja Corbitt

Catholic Online (

3/8/2010 (6 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter

NASHVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - If approached honestly, with a real effort at asceticism, Lent is strenuous, and it is usually at this point that I begin to get a little weary and parched. A couple of weeks are behind us, but there are still several to go, and it is here that we begin to see the liturgical readings about the waters of refreshment.

Water is such an invigorating element. Biology tells us it is the main ingredient necessary to generate and sustain life; it is, therefore, a telling symbol, as Jesus so beautifully indicated. It was into the waters of primeval chaos that God spoke and brought forth natural life.

Generating Life: Washed in the Water

In the Old Testament, between the horned altar of sacrifice and the entrance to the sanctuary, stood something similar to what some Christians would call a baptistry, Catholics a baptismal font. In the Old Testament it is called a laver, from the word for wash; we get the word lavatory from the same root.

Ordered as part of the tabernacle equipment, it was made of copper ("bronze"), a symbol of judgment (Exodus 30). Of two parts, "the bowl and its foot," it was shaped something like a birdbath, and made from the polished mirrors of chaste women who served at the entrance of the tabernacle.

The laver was constantly refilled, probably from the stricken rock, which was the only available water source in the desert. "It was no motionless rock which followed the people" ( S, Ambrose, de Sacramentis, lib. v. c. 1). Tertullian called this water-rock their "companion" and said, "This is the water which flowed from the rock which accompanied the people" (de Baptismo, c. ix.). This water-giving rock followed them miraculously through the desert as a type of life-giving Christ (1 Cor. 10:1-4). The sacrifices and priests were ritually cleansed in the laver of water.

The word for wash (laver) in Greek is baptism -the only two New Testament occurrences of the word laver are in Ephesians 5:26, "...that He might cleanse her (the Church) by the washing (laver, baptism) of water with the word," and Titus 3:5, "he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing (laver, baptism) of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit."

These verses are an echo of what Christ said to Nicodemus: "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). He emphasizes His meaning is spiritual, a spiritual rebirth that must be generated by water and the Holy Spirit. St. Peter re-emphasizes this point, saying baptism saves us (1 Peter 3:21).

The Ephesians passage indicates that it is the Rite of Baptism, the water and the words spoken (as always, the words of Jesus), that accomplish the cleansing. The Titus passage clarifies that the action of grace performed by the Holy Spirit makes the water and words efficacious. The necessity of faith not disputed, taken altogether these verses indicate that Baptism does indeed generate new life.

Sustaining Life: Washed in the Blood

As always, however, the complete meaning of this laver/baptism was unknown until Christ. His first miracle was to change the water used for ritual cleansing in Judaism into the wine, symbol of the  blood of the New Covenant, at Mary´s request. this was a fulfillment of the prophets´ use of water as a symbol of the New Covenant. It revealed how cleansing, baptismal waters would soon also create new life. Then He shows us what New Testament baptism would mean.

Just before His Passion, Jesus takes up the priestly girdle in a towel of menial service; he washes the disciples´ feet, Judas included, speaking of the importance of baptism, Confession, sacrificial service, repentance and forgiveness, and then He reveals the crowning glory of what baptism means: "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized," he said, and proceeded to walk the terrorizing hill of Golgotha to be crucified.

Jesus, our example in all things, is always reminding the Church that she, also, must take up her cross daily, and be crucified with Him at the hands of others and in service to them. As your Lent becomes dry and weary, draw from this well of Living Water flowing from the stricken Rock.
It is the Law of the New Covenant, and the Holy Spirit´s fountain of living water (John 4), our refreshment and restoration, rushing, flowing, moving, springing, redeeming, musical, quenching water.


Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic Scripture teacher, study author and speaker. Visit her at and


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.


More Lent / Easter

Did you know the Catholic Church has a birthday? Watch

Image of Pentecost is widely considered the birthday of the Catholic Church.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Happy birthday to the Catholic Church! Happy birthday to you, who are the body of the Church! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We're all familiar with our own birthdays, and we celebrate them because they mark the day of the year in which we entered into this life. ... continue reading

8 thought-provoking Easter quotes to inspire Watch

Image of Easter is more than eggs and bunnies.


We all love to celebrate Easter with brightly colored hard boiled eggs, candy, cute pictures of bunnies and chicks and we all love to gather together to party! Regardless of how you celebrate Easter, don't forget the real reason for the holiday. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

The surprising origins of the Easter Bunny -- it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Rejoice! The beloved Easter Bunny has very Christian origins.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter Bunny hides Easter eggs for children to find on Easter morning. However, the association between a rabbit and the resurrection of ... continue reading

'The Easter message of the risen Christ': Listen to Pope Francis' Easter Mass Watch

Image of Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Mass and focused on Christ and refugees (Reuters).


On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, Pope Francis stood before pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square for the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, the pontiff stood before the packed square to speak of Jesus ... continue reading

Missing The Point of Easter Watch

Image of Alex Basile [not pictured] is the Religion Department chair at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY. He has written nine books for Saint Pauls/Alba House.

By Alex Basile

Author Alex Basile reflects of the true meaning of the Resurrection of Christ and how many Christians overlook the real joy of Easter. In the haziness of the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene made her way to tomb of her friend and teacher. Fighting back tears and ... continue reading

He Has Truly Risen, We Are Free From Fear Watch

Image of The Tomb is empty!

By Fr. James Farfaglia

With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted.  When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of a godless life; we are freed from the unhappiness of a life filled ... continue reading

HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence Watch

Image of The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading

Holy Saturday: 'Make Sure He's Dead' Watch

Image of God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear

By Fr. Randy Sly

Just as the Chief Priests and Pharisees gathered with Pilate to plan on keeping the tomb sealed and guarded with Christ inside, many today want to place a stone in the entrance of the Church, to keep him inside again. On Holy Saturday we remember that no matter how ... continue reading

Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross Watch

Image of Benedict says,

By Michael Terheyden

Pope Francis said something during his first general audience that inspired me to reflect on the suffering Jesus endured during his Passion for the sake of our redemption. He said, "Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross. ... continue reading

Good Friday: The Church Born From the Wounded Side of Christ Pauses at the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Christ has flooded the universe with divine and sanctifying waves. For the thirsty, he sends a spring of living water from the wound, which the spear opened in His Side. From the wound in Christ's side has come forth the Church, and He has made her His Bride. ... continue reading

All Lent / Easter News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 27th, 2016 Image

St. Frumentius
October 27: Called "Abuna" or "the fa­ther' of Ethiopia, ... Read More