13 Mar THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
Dear friends in Christ,
The story of the woman at the well in today’s Gospel is one of the best-loved stories in the New Testament. St. John began the story, saying, “It was about noon” when the woman came to the well to draw water. In the meantime, Jesus, tired from his journey, was also at the well. Both Jesus and the woman were thirsty and Jesus started his conversation to the woman, asking, “Give me a drink.” With the story’s setting and its imagery Jesus led the woman from incomprehension to new awareness of her life by gradually revealing to her the deepest desires hidden in her heart: her soul was thirsting for meaning, for vision and purpose in life.
The conversation was totally turned around when Jesus said to the woman, “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.” At that, the woman asked, “Sir, give me this water.” Jesus wanted the woman to realize that she was thirsty for water, but he himself was thirsty for her soul.
Nowadays, people often talk about the ‘global warming.’ While this concern can be a reasonable one, however, there is another concern that Christ’s disciples need to pay a greater attention to, the concern about a ‘global cooling’ in spirituality, a general recession, loosening up and lacking in compassion, enthusiasm, ardor and faith in God in modern society, together with a serious lack of mutual respect, trust and hope among people. We need keeping the concerns on human issues clear and correct based on their differences in values and priorities and following Jesus’ advice: “Seek first the Kingdom of God.”
In one of the prayers during Lent we pray: “Father, through the discipline of Lent help us to grow in our desire for you.” Desiring for God is the goal of Lent and of all Christian activities for they can draw us each day closer to God.
Jesus is the Rock from which flows the stream of living water. He satisfied the thirsting soul of the woman by offering her the reviving water of eternal life, an ability for union with God. Let us strike on this Rock often so that our longing for him can ever grow deeper and we can say, “I know that the Messiah is coming.” Then Jesus will speak to us those consoling words: “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”