In the prophet Ezekiel, there is a beautiful vision of which I would like to share large parts with you. It is the vision an angel of the Lord, showing the prophet a trickle of water that flows out of the east side of the Temple, eastward, toward the Dead Sea. The angel and the prophet follow the stream along its course. The further they go, the more it swells, until it becomes a torrent, a great river. The angel says to the prophet: “Do you see this, son of man? This water empties into the polluted waters of the Dead Sea to freshen them. Wherever it flows, the river teems with every kind of living creature; fish will abound. Where these waters flow, they refresh. Everything lives where the river goes. Along each bank of the river every kind of fruit tree will grow; their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fresh fruit because the waters of the river flow out from the sanctuary. Their fruit is used for food and their leaves for healing.” Ez 47,1…12
The blood and water that flowed out of the side of Jesus’ body on the cross were the beginning of the fulfilment of this beautiful vision. Jesus was, in his own words, the grain that had to die so as to produce much fruit. He was the Temple out of which would flow a trickle of water and blood that would become a torrent, and give life to everything on its path. The water that flowed out of his side was to become the water of baptism that makes us Christian. The blood was to become the blood of our eucharists that keeps us Christian. Together, they give us life.
Such that today, on this Easter Sunday, we not only remember that Jesus’ resurrection was the Father’s seal of confirmation of the trustworthiness of everything that Jesus affirmed, and of everything that was implied in what he did. It was God the Father’s way of saying, once again, as at Jesus’ transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Mk 9,7
What we also remember today is that Jesus is the grain that had to die, that we might live. We remember that we emerged as Church, from his opened side on the cross. The trickle of blood and water that the witnesses saw has become a torrent that communicates his life to us, and makes us Church, just as in Ezekiel’s vision, “everything lives, where the river goes.” We remember Jesus’ dying, and his resurrection, and the beginning of what will follow from both: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the emergence of the Church, his Body, through the sacraments of baptism and eucharist. For the next seven weeks of the Easter season, we will meditate on the emerging Church. Today, let us simply rest, rejoicing, in the remembrance of the trickle of water and blood that flowed out of Jesus’ side, the beginning of the fulfilment of Ezekiel’s vision, the beginning of our new life in the Risen Lord.
Wishing us all a blessed, luminous, happy Easter,