The first reading shares the strong water imagery of the gospel; God provides for us in all ways, including our very human need for water. Our physical thirst reveals the neediness of our human condition; it is never satisfied for long, and we must stay close enough to a source of water to constantly fulfill a need that was satisfied not long ago.
The second reading is more oblique or indirect, but does speak of God being “poured out” into our hearts—an indication that physical thirst is neither our primary need nor the primary way that God provides. In other words, our physical thirst is only an echo of the way in which our hearts are meant to ache for God. Our need for God is infinite.
Jesus speaks of living water, the kind that satisfies thirst forever. Those who drink of it shall enjoy eternal life. The focus on water midway through Lent draws our attention and prayers to those in our community and around the world who are preparing for baptism. In a few short weeks, they will be submerged in life-giving water and emerge forever changed as members of the Body of Christ. The Lord provides all the water we need to never thirst again. Let us follow him ever more closely.
The conversation between the Samaritan woman and Jesus at the well causes a scandal in the minds of the disciples. Jewish men in charge did not converse with women in public. The gender difference creates scandal. We are called to continue the mission of Jesus as the Samaritan woman, who started out as an outcast, she became the very first missionary to the non-Jewish world. Later apostle Phillip would go to Samaria and build on the work she began. We are called to be a welcoming community. With the Holy Spirit springing up within us, we are called to break the bread by breaking the wall of division with our brothers and sisters…. Amen!
By Deacon Faiva Po'oi
Reflection on the Third Sunday of Lent