Third Sunday of Lent
Lord, I believe that you are present in my life. I believe that you are my creator and that you hold me in existence at every moment. I hope in you because I know that you created me and want what's best for me. I know that you want to give me the living water you promised to the Samaritan woman. I am the one who places obstacles in your way. My lack of faith, attachments to worldly things, egoism and vanity all get in the way of receiving your gift. I come to you in prayer today with a humble and contrite heart. You know my misery and how much I need your grace. Accept my prayer today as a token of my desire to remove the obstacles that come between us.
Lord help me to turn to you, the Wellspring of Eternal Life, to satisfy my thirst.
1. Making Trips to the Well
The Samaritan woman comes to the well to draw water as she has so many times before. When her water runs out and she is thirsty, she must go back to the well again. The water she draws from the well has the power to satisfy for only a short time. We can go through life just like this woman, searching for the little things in life that satisfy our thirst – perhaps pleasure, the latest news, an interesting job or a friendship. All these things satisfy, but their satisfaction is limited and we must return to them again and again. To what do you turn to satisfy your thirst for happiness and fulfillment? Reflect on how that satisfaction is limited and how you must go back time and time again to quench your thirst.
2. The Living Water
The Samaritan woman comes to draw water, but this time there is a Jewish man at the well and he asks her for a drink. She is taken aback by his request because Jews do not associate with Samaritans. A Jew would not ask a Samaritan for a drink because, according to Jewish law, the buckets that the Samaritans used were unclean. In spite of her initial shock, she is willing to converse with him and is startled when he offers her living water. It is soon clear that he is speaking about something much greater than well water. He is speaking about the life of grace – the life-giving water he has come to give all mankind. He shares this life of grace with us in abundance – so much so that when we accept his offer of life-giving grace, we no longer have need for inferior satisfactions.
3. We Must Ask for This Water
Christ tells the woman, "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 does not know she is speaking to the very source of life and grace. If she only knew she was talking to the Christ, she would beg for the living water that Christ has to offer. No doubt many times we are close to Christ in our prayer or the Eucharist without recognizing him. We are like this Samaritan woman – unaware that we speaking with Christ. Only when we are truly aware of how close Christ and the great treasure he is offering us are to us when we converse with him in prayer, are we able to beg him for the living water of his grace.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord Jesus, I want to see beyond the ordinary and grasp the reality of what you are offering me. You died on the cross so that I might partake in the living water that flowed from your side. Grant me your grace of living water, and teach me to thirst for it alone.
I will ask Christ, by short invocations throughout the day, to give me the living water of his grace.
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