Living water – the one thing that would heal us and will never make us thirsty ever again.
The gospel last Sunday spoke of Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman. It was not a welcome encounter for Jesus though. History tells us that then there was that feud existing between the Samaritans (Samaria) and the Jews (Judea and Cesarea). It was a feud based on differences in Jewish traditional beliefs more than anything else; simply, the Samaritans and the Jews did not see eye to eye.
Going back, Jesus happened to make a stopover at Samaria, specifically resting at Jacob’s well, on his way to Jerusalem. While there he asked for water from a Samaritan woman. She showed no kindness as she recognized the Jew in Jesus.
The one thing that was remarkable about this encounter was how Jesus was able to break the animosity felt by the woman. He talked about the “living water”, the one thing expressed in the gospel readings over and over – the one thing that forever changed the Samaritan woman’s life. Jesus stayed in that town for two days, according to the gospels and preached the good news.
“Unless you are born of the water and the spirit, you cannot enter the Kingdom…” – spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus which referred again to that “living water”.
Faith is what is spoken about here, the “living water”; that which DRIVES us. We thirst for Jesus. We want to know Him and we want to be with Him. Simply, we follow His will and we abide by His words.
BELIEVING that Jesus makes it better for me. It is hard… it is very hard.
It’s difficult to give up my “extras”with the less fortunate. I could instead go online and sell these and have some “extra” income to buy new stuff for myself. It’s difficult to give 10% of my earnings when I could put this aside for my retirement fund. It’s difficult to spend one hour attending mass. I would rather spend my Sunday watching a movie. It is difficult to be on my knees to do some reflection in the Blessed Sacrament. I would rather work extra hours and earn an income to support my hobbies. It is difficult to give a lecture on marriage and the family when you have been abandoned by your husband who took your children away from you. I would rather work eight “silent” hours caring for senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s. As a result, it is difficult attending family reunions having to answer questions about your lost family while introducing your new son and husband to your relatives. So, I have spent quality time with my new family out of town cutting myself out from my relatives. Most of all, it is difficult to forgive a person who has spoken hurtful and demeaning words about me, to the point of killing me with all sorts of untruths. Now, with these experiences, what faith is left when there are more cruelties that I have experienced than kindness in my life here?
As I have said, it is difficult. The “living water” should really make things easier to bear. In the gospel of Matthew 11:25-30, my favorite and so far, the one that DRIVES me, speaks of this “living water” in another sense.
TO DIE TO ONESELF… that is the message here. We are just passing through in this world. And, life in this world as Scott Peck in his book, aptly titled says “LIfe is difficult”. Bearing this, the “living water” actually makes all sense. It moves, it DRIVES, so to speak to go out of ourselves and serve others, who like us have also experienced difficulties, not with the same magnitude such as what we have gone through – this a matter of perspective and ability actually – just the same, help bear the cross, so to speak.
“Living water” … as we pray the Apostle’s Creed, we affirm our belief… as we pray the Our Father, we ask for graces to see us through life’s challenges. (http://www.cptryon.org/prayer/season/sunday-lent/3a.html)