The second Corporal Work of Mercy is To Give Drink to the Thirsty. What are we talking about here? I am sure that somebody, with tongue in cheek, will say that we should give free booze to alcoholics! But that it NOT what the Gospel tells us: Jesus said that the person who gives even a cup of cold water to another person (because he is a disciple) will not lose his reward.
This work of mercy is primarily about a precious, life-giving and life-sustaining resource that is often abused: Water. How is water abused in our world today?
- Deliberate or careless pollution.
- Wasteful use of water (letting water run into the storm sewers during droughts, etc.).
- Misappropriation of water: using water that should be used for human and animal consumption, and for the growing of food, for things like making ethanol [this is a matter for another article on a different kind of forum, but essentially, to make ethanol, a “renewable” energy, we use vast amount of coal (a fossil fuel), of corn (a key food for people and animals) and potable water].
How can you and I, as followers of Jesus Christ, practice this corporal work of mercy in our world today? The obvious thing is, when we see someone who is thirsty, to give them a glass or bottle of water. But if we go deeper, we could do any of the following:
- Give a water filtration system (Zero Water, Pur, Britta, etc.) to a poor family.
- Give to a charity (Catholic Near East Welfare, Food for the Poor, etc.) that digs well for villages in poor countries, or that helps these villages to have good water filtration systems.
Do we truly value and attempt to share the precious resource of water with those who are in need? When we do so, we obey Christ, and we imitate Him — the one who gives the “living water” that flows from within and gives eternal life.