By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB
This morning’s Gospel (John 4: 5-32) shares the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. The woman is going about her routine chore when Jesus appears and asks for some water.
Having been ostracized by the other women, she is alone. She is probably also embarrassed about her marriage status (which she discovers Jesus knows, without having told him).
At first she appears to be cold and sarcastic, saying, “Who are you, a Jew, asking a Samaritan for water?”
The woman thaws out when Jesus replies that he can give her living water. She replies, “Give me some that I won’t have to come her so often!”
She misses his point entirely.
Jesus is talking about the fountain of life; the Source which will banish her thirst forever.
The Old Testament prophesies this Gift. “With thee is the fountain of life” (Psalm 36) and “the spring of living water” (Jeremiah 2:13).
With only 3 weeks left of Lent, it’s time for us to ask ourselves whether we recognize Christ as the living water … or whether we’re missing the point right along with the Samaritan woman.
Is our deepest desire to quench our thirst – satisfy our longing – for material goods? Prestige? Power? Money? Perfect hair?
Christ offers something that money cannot buy:
“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 a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
May these last Lenten days teach us that only Jesus Christ can satisfy our thirst.