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3rd Sunday of Lent – Inner Thirsts


Samaritan_Woman“A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?’—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?’ Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Go call your husband and come back.’ The woman answered and said to him, ‘I do not have a husband.’ Jesus answered her, ‘You are right in saying, “I do not have a husband.” For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; when he comes, he will tell us everything.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one speaking with you.’
The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, ‘Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?’ They went out of the town and came to him.
Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me everything I have done.’ When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Many more began to believe in him because of his word, and they said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world’” (John 4:7, 9–18, 25-26, 28-30, 39-42).
 
The enmity between the Samaritans and the Jews was centuries old. Communication or contact with Samaritans was totally unacceptable to the Jews. And a strict Jewish man did not speak to a woman in public, lest it be misinterpreted and ruin his reputation.
 
This woman Jesus met at the well was not merely a Samaritan and a woman, but a woman of “ill repute.” So it is no wonder she was surprised that Jesus, a Jew, would speak to her, never mind request water from her.
 
Jesus tossed aside the conventions of the day to engage her, to draw her out until she admitted her own sinfulness. But rather than judge or condemn, Jesus treated her with the understanding and compassion central to God’s universal love.
 
Through this encounter, this transformative experience, this woman became the first person in the Gospel to recognize Jesus for who he truly was. She became not only a disciple but an evangelizer inspiring others to become his followers.
 
The Samaritan woman had a thirst to understand the meaning of her own life, to be treated with dignity, to feel love, to find inner peace. All these and more were quenched by that chance encounter at the well where she came to understand that Jesus is the only one who can truly satisfy all our inner thirsts.
 
– Where do you go to draw water to quench your inner thirsts?
 
Adapted from Word on the Go, a downloadable resource from RENEW International.

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