Jesus, the Source of Living Water by Fr. Joel
In the first reading, we heard how the people of Israel quarreled and tested the Lord and questioned if he was in their midst or not. This was because they were thirsty in the desert after leaving Egypt on their way to the promise Land. They blamed Moses for bringing them out of Egypt and suffer thirst in the desert. However, the Lord ordered Moses to strike a rock with his staff and water came out for the people to drink. The Psalm said that if today you hear his voice harden not your hearts. This is a call to obey God’s laws and worship him for he is our rock and salvation. In the second reading Saint Paul said that we have been justified by faith and we have received love and peace from Christ through the Holy Spirit. Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. That is the greatest form of love for Jesus to die for us.
In the gospel, Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus asked her for water to drink but she did not give him because he was a Jew. The Jews had nothing to do with Samaritans. Jews will not use the same cups and bowls that Samaritans used. These two parties despised one another to the extent that they do not interact for whatever reasons. But Jesus came and broke this negative behavior and asked for water from a Samaritan woman. When she refused he said to her, if only knew who asked you for water, you would have asked him to give you living water. The living water, if you drink, you will never be thirsty again. The woman was wondering how Jesus was going to get water since he did not have any bucket to get water from the well that was very deep. She did not understand the kind of water Jesus was referring to. Then Jesus explained to her saying, ‘’everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst again because it gives eternal life.’’ Now the woman became interested in the living water so that she will not have to come back to the well to get water again.
In the cause of this conversation, Jesus told the woman about her past sins and how she was married to several men in the past. Then the women started sensing that Jesus was a divine person. Jesus encouraged the woman to worship the true God in truth and in spirit. He revealed to her that he was the true expected messiah. Then the woman ran to the town and called people to come see the messiah. As the people came, they saw and heard Jesus speak and they believed him. As a result, they asked him to stay for some days with them and he did.
We see a connection between the first reading and the gospel in the theme of water. God gave the people water from a rock in the desert to quench their thirst. While in the gospel Jesus gave living water that quenched our thirst forever. Jesus is the fulfilment of the law and the prophets. By giving living water, he has fulfilled God plan for his people so that they will not be thirsty again. This symbolizes the love of God for his people. He does not want us to perish. He provides us with our needs and protects us from danger. Just like Saint Augustine would say, ‘’our hearts are restless until we find rest in the Lord.’’ We shall constantly be thirsty of water in our lives until we drink the living water from Jesus. We shall never be satisfied with worldly things until we accept Christ as our savior. Only Christ can satisfy our thirst and hunger for true peace and love. We shall never find meaning in our lives until we accept Christ and allow him to rule over us. It is the living water that is capable of washing us clean and empowering us to do great things for God and humanity.
Our society is full of vanity and emptiness, unless we allow Christ into our lives before we can have true love and peace. Many people think is by the amount of money or material things they have that they can become happy in this life. That is very wrong. Nothing in this world can give us true joy and peace unless we drink from the living water of Jesus. We can drink from this living water through reading the scripture, worshipping God in truth and in spirit, accepting the sacraments, detaching ourselves from worldly possessions and pleasures, sharing our resources with the need around us, and repentance of our sins. This period of lent offers us the opportunity to seek and receive this living water from Jesus. It is only Christ who can quench the thirst for companionship, love, peace, and joy. Many people are lonely, empty, depressed, sick, isolated, hopeless, and discouraged in life. All we need is Jesus in our lives in order to be revived again. Do not go anywhere else looking for happiness, comfort and peace, but go to Jesus and he will give you living water. When you believe in Jesus and follow his teaching, you will surely be nourished and strengthen by him and you will have peace and joy in your life.
In this gospel story Jesus destroyed the walls of hatred and discrimination between the Jews and the Samaritans. He introduced to them love and peaceful living as children of one father. In this story Jesus showed respect for the women and how to treat them fairly. In spite of her past sins, he did not judge nor condemned the woman but healed her and offered her love and forgiveness. Jesus cleansed of her sins and corrected her misconception about God and his religion. True worship is in truth and in spirit but not in a particular place. Today, we are called to repent of our sins and receive living water from Jesus. We are called to break down the walls of hatred, discrimination, racism, and division that separate us but build bridges of unity and love in our society. We are called to live the life of humility, mercy, love, and unity. We are called to give each other living water to quench our thirst and hunger for love, peace, and unity in our society. We are called to serve God and our neighbor in truth and in spirit.
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT 2017
JESUS, THE SOURCE OF LIVING WATER