We all experience two kinds of thirst in life. The first kind of thirst is horizontal, our desire for things on earth: food, drink, companionship, fun, entertainment, a nice house, a good income, success at work or school and many more.
The second kind of thirst vertical, a deeper desire built into our nature: a desire for meaning and purpose. But unlike horizontal thirst, our vertical thirst cannot be satisfied by our own efforts. Only God himself can satisfy it.
On the third Sunday of lent, we see in first reading and the Gospel is about thirst. In the first reading Moses was leading people out of Egypt from slavery. People were thirsty in the dessert and their question whether God is even there. God asks Moses to strike the rock and he provided water and satisfies the thirst of the complainers. In the Gospel Jesus thirst for soul of Samaritan woman. On the other hand the Samaritan woman’s thirst was for real love.
Jews and Samaritans were not on good terms, so the Samaritan woman was surprised to see Jesus, a Jew, is asking her water. Normally women used to go to fetch water in the morning or in the evening when it was not too hot. But she came to fetch water at noon. She may have been trying to avoid the crowd. Jesus came to her level to reach out and walk with her and leads her to faith. Jesus reveals himself as the source of Living Water.
The liturgy makes use of the symbol of water to refer to our relationship with God. It represents God’s Spirit which comes to us in Baptism. The water that Jesus promises is closely linked to conversion and the forgiveness of sin. In the second reading, Saint Paul asserts that, as the savior of mankind, Jesus poured the living water of the gift of his Holy Spirit into our hearts. Samaritan woman, in the Gospel, once embraced the faith, Jesus, the living water, becomes a missionary who brings others to Jesus. Once she had life changing experience, she couldn’t hold it for herself.
Jesus THIRSTS for our faith. Do we thirst for him? Yes, we do. The question is, do we recognize it? Lent invites us renew our faith and receive the spirit. This week and the next two weeks we take reading from the Year A, because we have RCIA candidates. Please pray for Michael Zilinger who is preparing to receive Sacraments during Easter Vigil.