Third Sunday of Lent
March 23, 2014 Cycle A
Sunday Reading Reflections Index
readings talk about thirst. There are two different kinds of thirst: human and
In the first reading, we heard that the people of God were thirsty. They were in the desert. There was no water. They were about to despair. They were saying: “Is the Lord in our midst or not?” They started complaining to Moses. Moses prayed and a miraculous solution came from God: Moses struck a rock with his staff and water flowed profusely. In the First Letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul says: “[…] all drank the same spiritual drink, since they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10: 4-5).
see Jesus as the spiritual rock in today’s Gospel.
Jesus was tired by the journey. It was noon. The sun was at its peak. It was very hot. He was thirsty. He was seated by the well. However, he did not have a bucket. The Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her: “Give me something to drink.” There is another time in John’s Gospel when Jesus is thirsty and asks for water. It is on the cross: “I am thirsty.” This was Jesus' penultimate sentence. His last sentence was: “It is fulfilled.” Jesus’ thirst is an identification with our thirst. Thirst is the most ardent and vital desire. We have an intrinsic and ineradicable desire for happiness and fulfillment. Jesus experiences our thirst and our incapacity to quench it, giving us the water that satisfies us. Jesus fulfills our desire: “It is fulfilled.” Let us come back to the well. Jesus is seated there, asking the Samaritan woman for water. He does not have a bucket. He needs someone with a bucket to draw water for him. This detail is very curious. Jesus identifies with our thirst to give us an answer. However, he needs a bucket! This bucket represents our freedom.
Who is the woman whom Jesus asks for a drink? She is someone who used her bucket to reach the water that she could obtain by herself. She was tired of coming every day to fetch water from the well, water that does not satisfy. We can understand this when she says: “Sir, give me some of that water, so that I may never be thirsty or come here again to draw water.” She was tired, disappointed with life, because nothing and nobody could satisfy her thirst.
“‘Go and call your husband,’ said Jesus to her, ‘and come back here.’ The woman answered, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right to say, “I have no husband”; for although you have had five, the one you now have is not your husband.’” She was a collector of husbands!
The Samaritan woman was astonished by Jesus! He knew her life; he had a deep knowledge of her. Jesus knew and understood people. It was one of the most impressive aspects of Jesus’ personality.
experience that the Samaritan woman had when she met Jesus was finding someone
who brought her the water she really needed. She realized that Jesus is the
Messiah. He is God. One day, when Jesus was in Jerusalem, he invited everyone to
come to him to drink the water that we really need. “[…] Jesus stood and cried
out: ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! Let anyone who believes in me come
and drink!” (Jn 7: 37-38). Jesus cried out, he spoke with a loud voice because
he wants us all to listen to him. He is inviting us to receive the water that we
need. We are thirsty, are we not? Why are we waiting to obtain this water?
One day, when Jesus was in Jerusalem, he invited everyone to come to him to drink the water that we really need. “[…] Jesus stood and cried out: ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me! Let anyone who believes in me come and drink!” (Jn 7: 37-38). Jesus cried out, he spoke with a loud voice because he wants us all to listen to him. He is inviting us to receive the water that we need. We are thirsty, are we not? Why are we waiting to obtain this water?
Sunday Reading Reflections Index