Mercy Mondays

The Wellspring of Life

By Sebastian Zebrowski | Monday, May 16, 2016

Some time ago, one of our professors at Mundelein Seminary asked us to write a short paper. We were supposed to explain, in the simplest possible way, what liturgy is. After a short meditation, I recalled a metaphor that the famous French theologian, Jean Corbon, used in his book “The Wellspring of Worship.” He compared liturgy to the stream that was described in the book of the Prophet Ezekiel:  “I saw water flowing out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east… Along each bank of the river every kind of fruit tree will grow; their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail” (Ezekiel 47, 1. 12). The stream that Ezekiel pictures both heals and gives life. What is even more important is that the stream has its beginning at the Temple.

But why should I mention that? Why do I start with defining liturgy? The answer is pretty simple. If you want to touch the mystery of the Divine Mercy you should know where to look for it. Mercy is an encounter with a real person, with Jesus Christ. St. John Paul II once said that liturgy is an encounter, as well--an encounter with the Risen Christ. Today, we can meet Christ in the fullest way in the sacraments He has given to us—particularly Penance and Eucharist. However, all of the sacraments give us grace and life. They have their wellspring in the same place where mercy has its beginning: in the Temple. This Temple is nothing less than the pierced Sacred Heart of Jesus from which blood and water flowed. Both mercy and the sacraments have their beginning in this sign. It is enough to look at the image of Divine Mercy to realize that truth. Two rays come from Jesus’ Heart and enlighten the whole world. Divine Mercy is like a river that gives life. We find this mercy in liturgy, especially in the sacraments. That river flows and heals our wounded hearts when we approach Jesus in the confessional. When we eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood, we receive Heavenly food. Thanks to it, we can live eternally; we receive the medicine that heals our wounds. If someone is looking for mercy, that person doesn’t need to look far. St. Faustina found it in the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist. Every saint found this truth in the sacraments. The wellspring of worship is Jesus, who is the New Temple from which the stream of mercy flows. Because of that, during the Year of Mercy we can find these special Holy Doors of Mercy in the churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago and around the world. There are so many places where we can confess. It is good for us to use that chance and heal our hearts.

Who among us doesn’t need water? Even when we drink, we know we will become thirsty soon. But what if somebody would offer water that, when we drink, we shall never thirst again? Jesus offers this kind of water. This water flows from His heart and is given to us in the Eucharist. This water heals and give us a new life. Liturgy, Sacraments, and Mercy flow in the one stream. It is just enough to come and drink. The Samaritan woman from the Gospel did so after the encounter with Christ (John 4, 1-42). Thus, when we are approaching Christ in sacraments,  let us just look into His eyes. I am convinced that after this encounter we will need nothing else. We will be at the wellspring that gives life.

Mercy Challenge

Check the Holy Door that is the closest to your home. Enter through it. Look at confessional. When did you confess for the last time? Maybe, it is time.

Sebastian Zebrowski is a Mundelein Seminarian.