Belated greetings on the occasion of the feast of St. John the Baptist!

I thank CBCP Monitor, through Msgr. Pepe Quitorio, for this new opportunity to contribute to the Monitor on its return, after a hiatus.

I pray that this opportunity would allow me to share thoughts, opinion, reflections and insights regarding our Faith life, hopefully drawn always from the font of God’s Word. And with this, I hope to be able to somehow accompany or at least give some inspiration to our faithful, especially our young people, as we journey together on the Way, in the midst of challenging and changing times. Pope Francis says, it is not simply a time of change, but a changing of times.

The title of this column, A Bucket of Water, is a revival of a piece I used to write in a local paper back in Naga, the Vox Bikol. I reproduce here what I wrote about 18 years ago:

I have always enjoyed traveling by the sea. In my younger years, during summer vacations and apostolate, I had occasions of going to places which require crossing the sea. I have always enjoyed gazing at the deep blue sea. It engendered in me a sense of awe and wonder for the Creator and creation. Sometimes a school of fish would jump out of the water, while flocks of birds survey the ocean for prey. The mountains and rock formations near the shores were always a sight to behold.

Among the images and symbols used in the scriptures is water. One may remember the dialogue, a forbidden one, between Jesus and the Samaritan woman near Jacob’s well (cf. John 4). Jesus asked the woman:

“Give me a drink. The Samaritan woman said to him: ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan and a woman, for a drink?’ Jesus replied: “If you only knew the Gift of God! If you knew who it is that asks you for a drink, you yourself would have asked me and I would have given you living water.” (v. 9-10) The woman answered “Sir, you do not have a bucket and this well is deep. Where do you expect to get this flowing water.” (v. 11)

In the course of the conversation Jesus told her: ‘Those who drink of this water will be thirsty again. But those who drink of the water that I shall give will never be thirsty; for the water that I shall give will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (v. 13) Towards the end of the conversation the woman said: “Give me this water sir, so that I shall not grow thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (v. 15)

Water is a symbol of life. Water is LIFE! Yet what is a drop of water compared to the immensity of the sea? What is human effort compared to divine generosity and mercy? From the great expanse of God’s word, I hope to offer tiny drop—sparks of inspiration. Surely, any significant reflection or insight that may be offered here is but a very ‘tiny fraction of magnificent enterprise which is God’s work’.

It is a paradox that even at the middle of the sea one can die of thirst. A bucket of water drawn from the spring of living water surely makes a difference.

“Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him.’” He said this in reference to the SPIRIT that those who came to believe in him were to receive. (John 6:37-39)
I pray that we may not get tired of returning to the wellspring of living waters, to draw a bucket of water to share with those who thirst. Besides, a bucket of water would be refreshing in this hot and humid weather.*


CBCPNews is a church-based news agency operated by the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.  This apostolate aims at helping the work of the new evangelization through the news media.  This is non-commercial and non-profit.  That being the case, it totally depends on generosity of its readers and supporters.

Should you wish to donate kindly press the donate button.  Thank you.