Imagine this scene: A group of guys goes up to a bar.
First guy says to the bartender, “I’m thirsting for a soft drink.” So the bartender gives him a Pepsi.
Second guy says, “I’m thirsting for a beer.” So the bartender gives his a Bud Lite.
Third guy says, “I’m thirsting for some wine.” So the bartender gives his a glass of Merlot.
The fourth guy says, “I’m thirsting for peace.” So the bartender hands him a Pepsi.
The fifth guy says, “I’m thirsting for friendship.” The bartender hands him a beer.
Sixth guy says, “I’m thirsting for meaning. The bartender hands him a glass of wine.
Three guys get their thirst satisfied. Three don’t. The bartender has three unsatisfied customers. Luckily the bartender had been to church that morning and remembered today’s gospel.
So he says to his three unsatisfied customers, “Hey guys, I can’t help you. You need to read the Gospels. There is something there to satisfy your thirst. You need living water. You need to know the Lord, Jesus.”
Yes, there are physical thirsts. And then there are the many thirsts of the soul that nothing physical can satisfy.
There are anxious people thirsting for inner peace,
broken-hearted people thirsting for someone they can trust,
and depressed people thirsting for humor and joy.
There are drifters thirsting for faith,
empty souls thirsting for meaning,
and grieving people thirsting for comfort.
There are lonely people thirsting for friendship,
imperfect people thirsting for understanding,
and sinners thirsting for forgiveness,
There are people thirsting for justice,
people thirsting to be appreciated,
and everyone is thirsting for love.
What are people “out there” thirsting for? What are we here thirsting for? Are we among the anxious, broken-hearted, depressed, drifters, grieving, and the lonely?
Everybody is invited to come to the well that is Jesus. He will give us the living water that we need.
The woman at the well not only received a theological insight about who Jesus was. She received “living water,” that is, loving water, a relationship, a friendship, a rapport, with Jesus. Faith involves the mind, the heart and the will in a relationship.
On Calvary, out of the pierced the heart of Jesus flowed blood and water. Living water. Loving water.
Lent calls us to examine our relationship with Jesus? How close, how deep is our friendship with him?
I suggest we ask ourselves two questions:
The first question: On a scale of one to ten, how would we measure our friendship with Jesus? Let’s say that it’s a “seven.”
Then the second question: What would it take to make that a “ten?”
The Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are three important means to help our relationship become
And of course we have the deep well that is Sacred Scripture.
At Mass we have the part called the Liturgy of the Word when the Scriptures are proclaimed. Often we hear lot of words, and it can be overwhelming. It might help if we listen for just one sentence, one phrase, or one word that we can take with us for the day. Maybe share that one sentence, ore phrase or word with our family, with our friends, and exchange ideas.
During Lent we are encouraged to drink more fully of the Scriptures, esp. the gospels, the words and actions of Jesus, and there find our deepest thirsts fulfilled.
Then we are invited to the altar to be nourished by the Body and Blood of Jesus. J.R.R. Tolkien stated, “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth. The Blessed Sacrament … There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth … which every man’s heart desires.”
By participation at Holy Mass, those three guys at the bar thirsting for peace, friendship and meaning will be more than satisfied.
And then, empowered like the woman at the well in our gospel, they will be sent forth to spread the news: “Jesus is the savior of the world. Come, walk with him. Talk with him. Rest in him.”