A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 4:5-42
"Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" - For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans. -Jesus answered and said to her, "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 said to him, "Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?" Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks his 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 many not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go call your husband and come back." The woman answered and said to him, "I do not have a husband." Jesus answered her, "You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.' For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now, is not your husband. What you have said is true." The woman said to him, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is Jerusalem." Jesus said to her, "Believe me, woman the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth: and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and Truth." The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ: when he comes, he will tell us everything." Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one speaking with you."
At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, but still no one said, "What are you looking for? or "Why are you talking with her? The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, "come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?" They went out of the town and came to him. Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." So the disciples said to one another, "Could someone have brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, 'In four months the harvest will be here?' I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest. The reaper is already receiving payment and gathering crops for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that "One sow and another reaps." I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work." Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me everything I have done." When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Many more began to believe in him because of his word, and they said to the woman, "We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world." The Gospel of the Lord
Meditation Point 1- Mother Teresa
This Gospel is a favorite in the Missionaries of Charity, because Mother loved this passage so much: The Thirst of Jesus for love and for souls. Whenever this Gospel comes up, I recall one part of it, very strongly, and that is the correlation that Mother drew between the woman's comment that 'the cistern is deep' and 'I do not have a husband.' I would love to share this brief point for you to ponder because it is deep in my memory. Mother saw the 'well- the cistern' as the well of this woman's heart, the thirst for love was so deep in her, that she doubted anyone could ever slake her thirst for love, no love ever was enough to fill the depths of what she thirsted for, and our Lord was addressing this depth of thirst that had remained unquenched. The second point, was the fact that she had no husband, yet many lovers. Her thirst was so intense for love and yet not satisfied, nothing satiated. She had 5 'lovers', 5 false ways of trying to quench this deep pain for love that was not being met inside her soul. Think about it, what 'lovers' do you have in your life, in other words, what false ways of quenching the thirst for love do you grasp?
Meditation Point 2
I love this Gospel so much, I can't possibly write enough here, it would takes pages, so I will take you to a single point. The words of Jesus: "Give me a drink." 1st) Pray to the Holy Spirit 2nd) Open your heart now, He will lead you. Try to walk down to the well of Jacob, with the woman, or better still, strap on her sandals and walk in her place; see this 'Stranger' sitting there before you get there. Allow him to look up into your eyes, as you carry your water jug and head to where the bucket is laying, you have done this every single day all your life. He looks tired, yet very 'present to you.' His gaze just looks right through you. You are totally aware- He is different than all the men you have ever met. Love is pouring out of His eyes, in a way, you have never received and it is uncomfortable. There is an incredible 'fullness' in his presence, as if time just stopped, yet a part of you, wants to retrace your steps and head out of there and a part of you, is totally drawn like a magnet to stay put...your heart is pounding alive again. He speaks to you; "Give me a drink." What does he mean? Take some time to ponder what perhaps that moment was; Jesus asked her for something that she did every single day, something she did for herself (draw water). Jesus asks her to do it this time, for him, not for herself. What does she say? She moves right to- Identity; His and hers. Identity is foundational in our relationship with Christ. (If I know who He is, I will come to know, who I am in Him) The woman says; "How can you a Jew, ask me a Samaritan woman..." She makes it clear, that she knows there is an 'inequality' here and unspoken chasm, that separates her from him, and what he is asking of her to do for him. Now bring this home. What is Jesus asking of her and what is Jesus offering her? (offering you?)
The deepest most intrinsic need of the human soul, is for love. When you cannot fill up your heart with enough love, where do you go? What's your jar that you try to collect love with? Jesus is offering you and I living water, whats stopping you from saying to him, give me that living water?