3d Sunday of Lent: A Whole World Thirsting for Living Water
They are the hollow army of humanity so parched but unaware that liquid life is so close to them - in us
Each day we pass many who, like the woman of Samaria, decorate time. Their lives may look adorned and abundant, but this is merely a disguise, hiding an interior emptiness. They are the hollow army of humanity so parched but unaware that liquid life is so close them - in us.We don't have to go far to find those who thirst. They are all around. We see them on our streets, at the office, in our schools, and at the mall. They may be members of our own family, our neighbors, or our friends.
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - "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." (John 4:13-15 NAB)
With the Ashes of Ash Wednesday's observance now weeks behind us in our Lenten pilgrimage , we continue to keep with us the mark of our mortality. We are dust and to dust we shall return. That is not only true about us but about all mankind.
Every individual has an eternity to face. Lent is meant to be a time where our participation helps to draw us deeper into the One with whom we desire to spend our time after we draw our last breath; we may also influence others in that journey as well.That is the mission of the whole Church.
Awhile ago I was given the opportunity to share the story of my journey into the Catholic Church with a group in our local parish. The re-telling of this pilgrimage reminded me of one fundamental issue, this was the story of a thirsty man who could only be satisfied with living water.
Such a story cannot begin at RCIA but at the true beginning of the journey of faith - in my case, at baptism. Baptized and confirmed an Episcopalian, I found other pursuits drawing me away from the church and the things of God.
As a rock musician and "Top 40 Disk Jockey" in the late sixties and early seventies, I was high on life - but a unique approach to life. The attraction of hedonistic living is especially powerful when one loses sight of two things - mortality and eternity. Both became real issues once again while serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War.
In describing this time of life once again, I re-revisited - heart and mind - the real power in conversion. I had been thirsty for living water. While outwardly moving through life in a spirit of great adventure, the specter of my own finite existence left me hollow and hungry on the inside.
Real life demanded real meaning. I had to return to the promises of my baptism and embrace fully and completely all that our Lord had prepared for me. I came back to God and back to His Church.
Such was also the case with the woman at the well. With multiple husbands, her life had been anything but dull. No doubt, with each of these suitors was a story and a new drama of life for this Samaritan. Being from Samaria was, in itself, a problem. All of that was just a part of her very real life.
The woman didn't know she was thirsty. Like one in a desert, constantly parched, she thought this is as good as it gets. It took a touch from the One who was before time and forever to awaken her thirst. It took a personal touch from Jesus to bring about the hope that life can be different.
The people around the woman were not aware of the spiritual barrenness inside. She was known as a Samaritan and probably known as someone of ill repute. The interior was hidden, as it is in all of us. The aches, the hurts, the condemnation all echoed through a hollow heart.
Then our Lord spoke to her - to a woman - to a Samaritan woman. One considered unclean to the Jews was being asked for a drink of water. More than a request for some refreshment, Jesus was inviting her into a prophetic encounter and an invitation to drink deeply from a new kind of water, one that fills the heart.
In that conversation something awakened deep inside, her thirst for being became intense in the presence of his divine love. "Sir," she spoke out, "Give me this water!"
Each day we pass many who, like the woman of Samaria, decorate time. Their lives may look adorned and abundant, but this is merely a disguise, hiding an interior emptiness. They are the hollow army of humanity so parched but unaware that liquid life is so close to them - in us.
We don't have to go far to find those who thirst. They are all around. We see them on our streets, at the office, in our schools, and at the mall. They may be members of our own family, our neighbors, or our friends. Some have left the faith while others have no reference to the things of Christ.
So, what is our call? Are we to overwhelm our hearers with the Catechism of the Church, a treatise on salvation history, or the ultimate questions of heaven and hell?
Perhaps we can begin by merely giving a cup of cold water in Jesus Name. We can do this by just acknowledging the person inside, such as addressing our waitresses by their name, greeting people we meet, and simply being the presence of Christ to those around.
When I met the person who would be used to re-kindle my faith many years ago, he did not begin with a lesson, he began with love. He wanted to know about me. He then told me about himself. I became his friend not his project. He was Christ to me in word and deed before he talked about Christ with me.
Lent can be our opportunity to love out loud. We can let our relationship with the Triune God become present all day every day by letting Christ love the world through us.There is a whole world thirsting for the Living Water which we have been given. On this Third Sunday of lent, we need to comprehend the mystery of our faith, we are the ones called to give them drink....and lead them to the Living Water, Jesus Christ.
Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal: Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- 3 goals of Lent: Change, conversion and new beginning
- What it Means to be a Child of God: Lenten Reflection on Human Suffering
- 2nd Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
- 1st Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
- The Lenten Invitation: Making Choices and Changing Ourselves
- Great tips for fasting during Lent from Dr. Denton
- The one surprising secret few people know about Lent!
- Ash Wednesday Homily of Pope Francis
- Ash Wednesday has arrived in the Philippines, Lent has begun!
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
Michael Terheyden - Catholic Online, 3/2/2015
God will wipe away every tear, and there will be no more suffering and death (Rev 21:4). KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - Why do we suffer? On the first page of his Apostolic Letter, On the ...Continue Reading
Alex Basile - Catholic Online, 3/2/2015
How do you find meaning in Lent? Each year this holy season falls more and more into the realm of the usual routine and less about discovering Christ. See how author Alex Basile explains how to make ...Continue Reading
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 2/26/2015
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 WASHINGTON, D.C. ...Continue Reading
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 2/21/2015
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »