Grace to you!
The Lord proposes the water of life to the woman at Jacob’s Well (John 4:5ff).
The Samaritan woman, like many of us, led a life that was spiritually dry, morally depraved, troubled and socially isolated. She lacked the Water of Life.
Her story is typical of anyone searching to find the fullness of life and joy; anyone who has hit a spiritual low. Hence the Church uses it during this third Sunday of Lent (called Scrutiny in ancient rites) for those who are going to become believers through Baptism on Easter Vigil.
Many of us (like the Samaritan woman) are thirsty, starved of the Living Water. This results to leading lives deprived of inner joy, peace of soul and righteousness. The hollowness of the human heart is depressing. It needs to be filled. The thirsty hearts has to be satisfied.
The Lord Jesus proposes to offer the Samaritan woman the Living Water: “If you knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you: Give me a drink, you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you Living Water.” (John 4:10)
He emphasizes the water He will give is such that anyone who drinks it shall never be thirsty again because the water will turn into a spring inside the person, welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).
This water isn’t a combination of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen. It isn’t a material chemical compound. It is the food of the soul, “the balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course” (borrowing a phrase from Shakespeare), the advocate of sinners, elixir of troubled minds, the consolation of the distressed, the counselor, the Paraclete, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. In essence, we receive the grace of the Holy Spirit promised us by the Lord Jesus. This grace is the “seed of eternal life,” welling unto eternity.
At the last day of the feast at the Jerusalem gate, Jesus stood and made this bold claim: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of Living Water will flow from within him” (John 7: 38).
Scripture noted: by this Jesus meant the Holy Spirit, who those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified (John 7:39). So, the Lord promises to give us his Holy Spirit.
We cannot imagine a Christian life without this Living Water. It is like thinking of a car without gas or a marriage devoid of love.
Consider it’s the grace of the Holy Spirit which those to be baptized at Easter Vigil receive when the water of Baptism is poured on their head and the Trinitarian formula pronounced (in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit). Not only is original sin cleansed, sanctifying grace is impacted, accompanied by the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. Further, the Sacrament of Confirmation confirms them in the Holy Spirit.
In the Book of Exodus 20:1-17, God gave the law (Decalogue). It is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, Christ’s gift from the Father which we receive through faith, that grants us the power to keep the law.
For those who have received this grace, the seed of life eternal, “fan into flame the graces (gift of God) you have received” (2 Tim 1:6).
Praying that we be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Third Sunday Advent: Exodus 20:1-17; 1 Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-35]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.