By Sr. Catherine Cleary, OSB
“A woman of Samaria came to draw water: Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” John 4: 50-42
Water is the focus of today’s readings (reminding us of the baptismal character of Lent and of the many catechumens preparing for baptism on the Vigil of Easter.) It appears that this woman in the Gospel knows what she wants. She wants water; it is noon, she is drawing water into a container, when a man asks her for some water. We are put on alert that this woman is alone and seems a little sarcastic when her first words are, “How is it you a Jew ask me a Samaritan for water?”
The dialogue between the Samaritan woman and Jesus continue. Jesus answers, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” She continues in a sort of bold way, “How could I give you water, you don’t have any container?… and the cistern is deep.”
Then the key passage. Jesus answers the woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst: the water I shall give will become in him (or her) a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Water here is an image of the life of God, it can be poured out, it flows, it is a spring never going dry, it quenches ones’ thirst, it brings us to eternal life. This water is THE LIFE of GOD, it is alive! It has energy, power, goodness, it is sharing in the very being of God.
Teresa of Avila spoke of water as flowing from the spring of God’s love and which needs no work on our part. With the Samaritan woman, ask God to give you this water so you can take it in to the deepest part of your being. Allow the water image of the deep spring of God to move to your heart, to your center.
Read the Gospel again,
Respond to it in prayer,
Reflect on it,
Rest in God’s love. Then with the woman, take the Word to the people, that they too might believe.