...Aqua Lateris Christi, lava me...
Water from the Side of Christ, wash me. From Christ's side is born the Church, by the blood which flows from Christ's heart into her veins, and by the water which washes her members, the members of Christ's body, with the Baptism of regeneration. If, as Christians, the Blood of Christ must saturate us, as Christians this water from Christ's side must wash us thoroughly, to our very core.
Medical experts tell us that water would have collected in Christ's lungs during his asphyxiation upon the Cross. It was likely this water that was poured forth as the Church was born. This water was a part of the cause of His death.
Water is an amazing substance. It gives us life, it saves us from thirst, it washes us of filth, and if it were not the strangely polar chemical it is, life on this planet could not even be possible. Yet it was water, the most life-giving substance in the world, that killed Our Lord. How can you and I, who are so often far from life-giving, who kill with our words and actions every day, not do even more to harm Christ? Yet, he turns the curse of our sins into a blessing.
It was the water over which the Spirit hovered in the beginning. It was the water that drowned sin and sinner alike and floated the righteous Noah and his family to safety from death. It was water that destroyed the armies of Pharaoh and liberated the people of Israel. It was water that flowed forth from the Temple in the visions of the prophets. This same water, one of the four ancient elements, was capable of leading to the most notorious death of all human history, but is also capable of giving us the most abundant life of all eternity. In Baptism, we were washed in this element which killed Our Lord. We are Baptized into His death, not only sharing in the role of His executioners, but sharing in the role of one drowned. You and I have been drowned with Christ. Our own life-breath has been suppressed. Our sin has been purged, and we have risen again from the dead with Him.
Yet we sin again and again, and again we cry out, "water from the side of Christ, wash me!" Let the water from Christ's side play its role in His covenant as well. Let it wash us, from the hairs of our heads to the tips of our toes, and let it soak beneath our skin and cleanse us. Let it be a shower of repentance and the beginning of a real resolve to amend our lives and leave behind our sins.