"Drinking the Water I Shall Give": 3rd Sunday of Lent

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

On this third Sunday of Lent, we are back in the desert.

The desert which lacks water is perhaps a symbol of the woman at the well.

She not only does not have any water but she also has no friends who apparently shun her because of her lifestyle.

Lacking critical things one needs in life – water and friendship – she must have been startled to have a strange man break the rules and speak with her.

It always seems to me that there is a depth of goodness in this woman, a goodness which others do not see because they judge her behavior (which apparently all do see).

She is generous giving the stranger water, though he does not have a bucket.

Jesus then speaks what I find to be one of the most beautiful sentences in Scripture:

“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.”

And the wise woman, says, “Sir,
 Give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

We represent this woman at the well more than we imagine!

We thirst, but we don’t recognize the spring of water welling up to eternal life. That water is in us, in the sacraments, in the people we meet, in the books we read, in the social justice acts we do.

It is in the immigrant reform and the stop trafficking bills we promote.

God’s grace is within us, and that same presence is in the people we serve, meet, nod to, assist, and forgive.

There are springs of water welling up to eternal life in our daily life … at the well and everywhere in our lives.

We need only recognize them as the woman recognized Jesus.

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