In the Gospel on this third Sunday of Lent, there is an encounter between two thirsty people: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman. Jesus said to her “Give me a drink” and the woman said to him “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty”. And you, have you ever experienced thirst? What are you thirsting for?
If we take time to look around and are sensitive to the many things around us, we’ll see that there is a lot of thirst. How many nations are practically thirsty every day because there isn’t enough safe water to drink? How many people are thirsty for words of compassion, support, enlightenment, direction, healing, serenity, and so on? In the first reading, the Israelites grumble, “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?” Just like them, when we faced strong challenges, we wondered, “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”
Where do we get our water? What wells do we drink from? The world has numerous wells to draw from, including fame, money, alcohol, and social media among others. We may feel satiated at first but eventually our thirst return. Jesus desires that we come to him as the source. He alone can give the water that can quench our thirst. Francisco Palau, our father founder confirmed in letter 88, “Jesus is your beloved and if your heart loves anything else, it is lost, no created being or anything can satisfy it.” And in letter 7, he invited us to long for something else, to take another path, the road that Jesus took: “Be poor if you wish to be rich; be poor by your own will; be poor in spirit and body… Be exact, faithful, constant, and strong in the practice of all the virtues”.
The encounter with Jesus leads to something great. Listening to him changed the Samaritan’s attitude and perspective on life; she humbled herself and opened her heart to Jesus. This Lenten season, we may continue to remain attentive to recognize Jesus’ present in our brothers and sisters and in the various things that are going on around us. He may be waiting for us at any well, at any moment.