Meeting basic water needs was a near impossibility for families in Rinconcito, a poor community in a remote, rural region of the Dominican Republic. Villagers only had three options—and all of them were unpleasant. They could draw from a hand-pump well that delivered salty water; they could spend half a day walking to a distant, freshwater river; or they could stand in line at the bottom of a hill, where villages use leaves to guide a small trickle of water into jugs. But, this river water tastes and smells like animal waste, and people using it run the risk of developing waterborne illnesses like cholera and chronic diarrhea.
In such dire circumstances, the needy people from this poor community cried out to the Lord in their thirst. And thankfully, their prayers are being answered though Cross Catholic Outreach and our ministry partner FUNDASEP, the rural outreach arm of the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana. Together, we have almost finished building an aqueduct and clean water holding tank that will provide hundreds of people with the gift of water.
I remembered the people living in Rinconcito during this morning’s daily reading from Psalms 72:1, 12-13 and 18-19, which says:
God, endow the king with your own fair judgment, the son of the king with your own saving justice,
For he rescues the needy who call to him, and the poor who has no one to help.
He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the needy from death.
Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders;
Blessed for ever his glorious name. May the whole world be filled with his glory!
This responsorial psalm is an encouraging reminder that our God rescues the needy and cares about the welfare of the destitute. Even though he alone saves, he invites us to help extend his blessings to his people. Families in Rinconcito have received the blessing of water that saves and are living proof of the wonderful works accomplished by Christ our Lord.