III SUNDAY OF LENT
exodus 17:3-7; romans 5:1-2, 5-8; john 4:5-42
several years ago, i had gone trekking with a group of friends. by mid-day, after trekking six hours, we were half-way to our destination. we were also out of water! there was no water source or human habitation in sight. after another three hours, we chanced upon a tiny stagnant pool of water. we were tired and thirsty. and so, though the water was dank, we drank.
thirst! this was the condition of the wandering israelites.
it was thirst that made them grumble against moses; lament their liberation from egypt; and question GOD’s presence among them.
GOD’s response? he gave them life-giving water, a reminder of his continued and powerful presence among them
thirst! this was the condition of the samaritan woman.
it was physical thirst that made her come to the well in the noon-day sun; emotional thirst which took her through six relationships; spiritual thirst which made her dialogue with a jew.
GOD’s response? he gives the woman life-giving water. he satisfies her deep longing for love and understanding; he treats her as a human person, with respect and dignity. through a seven-part catechesis, jesus guides her from ignorance to faith; she grows progressively in her knowledge of jesus’ identity: «a jew,» «sir,» «prophet,» and «messiah.» she goes from being a social outcast to becoming a disciple and a missionary!
thirst! this is our condition.
we, too, have physical, emotional, spiritual thirsts. GOD’s response to our thirst is similar to his response to the thirst of israel and the samaritan woman. he fills us with living water. we need not go back to the well because the source of living water is within us… from our baptism.
do i still go to other wells, or do i allow the living water to be my thirst-quencher?
in what way can i, like the woman, invite people to «come and see» and encounter jesus, and drink of the living water that i have drunk?