“Jesus said to the woman, ‘Give me a drink.’”
“Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church 2560
The story of the woman at the well found in the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel is a powerful story of conversion. A woman, isolated by her sin, comes to the well at noon. She comes alone, in the middle of the day; most women gathered at the well in the cool of the morning and evening. She was ashamed to be around the other women.
At the well, she encounters Jesus. He is waiting for her. This meeting is not accidental; it has a divine purpose. Jesus desires her from the depth of his heart. His thirst is not simply a desire for water; it is a thirst for her soul. Jesus begins a conversation with the woman. His request for a drink opens up a dialogue leading to transformation.
During lent, it is easy to forget that the source of our spiritual journey is God. We can get caught up on what we are doing: our fasting, our prayer, our charity…. But the story of the woman at the well reminds us that God is the source of all of our desires and our efforts. It is God’s thirst for us that leads us to thirst for him.
It is when these two thirsts meet, God’s thirst for us and our thirst for God, that things change. After meeting Jesus at the well, the woman returns to the village transformed. She is on longer isolated, but instead, reaches out to her neighbors to share her experience with Jesus. She is a converted woman. Something powerful and mysterious has happened. She has been transformed by God’s thirst.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood
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