One day a disciple asked his teacher: “Master, why we should read and memorize the Word of God if we can’t memorize everything and, with time, we forget the little we had assimilated?
The master didn’t answered immediately the disciple. He looked at the horizon for a few minutes and then ordered, “Take this basket of reeds, go down to the creek, fill with water and bring it here.” The disciple looked at the dirty basket and considered the order of the master very strange, but still obeyed. He picked up the basket, walked down the 100 steps of the monastery stairs to the creek, filled the basket with water, and started up the stairs again. As the basket was full of holes, the water drained and when it arrived where the master was, there was no water.
The master asked him, “So, my son, what you learned?” The disciple looked at the empty basket and said, ironically, “I learned that the broken basket doesn’t hold water.” The master ordered him to repeat the task. When the disciple returned, the basket was empty once more, and the master asked him again, “So, my son, and now what did you learn?” The disciple replied again with sarcasm: “That the broken basket doesn’t hold the water.”
The master then continued to instruct the disciple to repeat the task. After the tenth time, the disciple was exhausted from going down and up the stairs. But when the master asked him again, “So, my son, what did you learn?” The disciple, looking at the basket, was surprised and said: “The basket is clean!” Although it didn’t retain the water, the constant repetition of filling it ended up washing it and leaving it clean.
Finally, the teacher concluded, “It doesn’t matter that we can’t memorize all the Bible passages we read; what matters in reality is that in the process of reading your mind and your being you will be washed before God.”
What can we learn from this story? Don’t expect to feel something as we read the Word of God to be motivated to do it again. Let us know that the more we have contact with it, the more we’ll be washed. In everyday life we’re involved with many things in the world and don’t even realize that they end up getting us dirty and contaminating. Through contact with the Word of God, we can be washed and renewed daily. As it’s written, “to sanctify it, having purified it by the washing of water by the word” (Eph 5:26). Therefore, dear reader, let us not get tired of going to the Word daily, because through this practice we’ll be washed from the filth of the world.