Give me some of that water…

Sunday’s Gospel: The Baptism of Jesus, Matthew 3:13-17

Italian Miniaturist, Antiphonary, c. 1470, detail

Yesterday in her sermon Sister Helena Marie compared the practice of observing the Christian Year and mining the Unconscious (which she has worked on her whole adult life). She said there’s the surface story of the coming of Jesus as a baby and the stories of his parents, the shepherds, the flight into Egypt, the ministry and death of Jesus and the events around his Resurrection. We learn this surface story as children, but as we mature and pay attention, we find ourselves below the surface story in the realm of dreams, archetypes, uncanny connections, subtle hints and clues leading to insight, revelation, a vision of the whole, and truth. Her topic was the Holy Family. Sister Helena Marie talked about Mary and Joseph as archetypes and we sang songs she’d composed about them both (including the playful “She told him she was pregnant, he married her anyway, he was a good guy!”) We celebrated in the Great Room so that we’d have access to a myriad of musical instruments.

I have observed the Christian Year as the mystical journey of the soul through conversion, purgation, illumination, and union with transitional nights of faith, sense, and soul. I’d also thought about the lectionary cycle as Hero’s Journey. But thinking about the mining of the Unconscious is pretty thrilling stuff.

So if you’re thinking about this for the first time, The Baptism of Jesus offers a wealth of images. The archetype of John -the forerunner calling the soul to conversion and change. The theophany: the Voice over the waters. And coming to the waters! – death, cleansing, amniotic fluid, new life and regeneration, the quenching of internal thirst.

But my first thought this week when I pulled up the Gospel text was of the Samaritan woman after Jesus said, “the water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” She says, simply, “Give me some of that water!”

Ask, and you shall receive, says Jesus.
Well, then, give me some of that water…

4 Responses to “Give me some of that water…”

  1. claire Says:

    Mining the unconscious and Sister Helena Marie has done it all her life… and you help us doing some of it as well with your Weekly Reflections on the Sunday readings.

    Thank you.

  2. Bridget Says:

    I agree with Claire; your weekly meditations often open up routes into the mine for me. Thanks.
    On the other hand, I am preparing to gather and inspire a team to re-energise the children’s work in our parish, and this reminds me of the importance of providing the children with the stories, as material they can mine for the rest of their lives.

    • ammaguthrie Says:

      Bridget – when I was a children’s priest, the kids “pretended” the Bible stories with costumes. Week after week after week. Now they are all grown but the stories are a part of them. Plus it was the best “work” (and fun) I ever had in ministry! ENJOY those kids! -suzanne

  3. connetta Says:

    i truly enjoyed reading this..

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