martes, 25 de marzo de 2014

"Give me a Drink"

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3rd Sunday of Lent
March 23, 2014
Jn 4:5-42

In the gospel passage for today, Jesus passed through Samaria on his long walk from Judea going to Galilee. Ordinarily, Jews would bypassed Samaria by taking a route across the Jordan in order to avoid this place since they shared nothing in common with them. In passing through Samaria, Jesus came to a town called Sychar. He felt tired from his journey and sat down at the well when a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Without any hesitation and breaking the social conventions of his time, Jesus asked a woman for a drink. It was an unfamiliar scene for a Jew during those times to talk to a woman in public and much more, to ask a drink from someone who was using a vessel which was considered “ritually impure.” Therefore, the Jews were forbidden to drink from any vessel they had handled. More than that, the Samaritan woman was also considered as an outcast of the society, being an adulterous and public sinner as well, which made her draw water during “noon,” and not at any other time convenient to her.

Nevertheless, Jesus did not hesitate to talk to a woman and said to her, “Give me a drink.” It was Jesus who initiated and asked the Samaritan woman to give him a drink, but the woman’s bucket was “empty,” and the favorite “well” where she normally fetches water was “deep.” In addition, the more she draws water from that well, the more she would go back to it because it does not quench her “thirst” at all. But, Jesus gently guides her by recognizing her dignity as a person and offers God’s gift to her. It was a very beautiful encounter where Jesus offers her the “living water” that would give her “eternal life.” Indeed, it was not just the woman who was able to drink the “living water” that Jesus offers. Through her, Jesus invited many others as well, and were able to quench their thirsts just like her.

It is very good time to reflect during this Lent about our ordinary “emptiness” and “dryness” when we become comfortable at quenching our thirst from our usual “wells.” Our “empty buckets” of unfaithfulness, hatred, self-aggrandizement, malice of speech, etc. can cause many other “buckets” to empty, too. Drawing water from our favorite wells of pride, selfishness, arrogance, and back biting hooks us into a vicious cycle of self-destruction and, as it never satisfies, makes us “thirsty” again and again. Now, Jesus invites us to throw away our own familiar buckets because we don’t need them anymore, and instead, drink the “living water” that Jesus offers: the living water of faith, love, openness, generosity, kindness, humility, etc. It is the living water that satisfies our thirsts and meaning for the divine.

In one of his books (The Admirable Heart), St. John Eudes on the call to holiness wrote, “You may ask how man [sic], fragile, weak and miserable creature that he (she) is, can be holy as God is holy. My answer is that although this is impossible in our human weakness, it is possible, even easy, with God’s grace which He never refuses to those who are willing to ask for it.”

Indeed, with the grace poured forth upon her, the Samaritan woman was more than willing to ask what Jesus offers her. Sincerely, she begged Jesus, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”


O Jesus, our friend and brother, you have given us the water of life at our baptism. Grant that we may continue to drink of it as we journey your path of faith, love and hope. Amen.


Our guess writer for this Sunday is Eric Lacsa, an applicant being considered for admission by the Congregation for the next school year. He recently graduated from the CICM Maryhill School of Theology with a master's degree and ecclesiastical degree in Theology. He hails from Sorsogon. He is now staying at the St. John Eudes House of Formation as part of his discernment process.

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