Each time today’s Gospel story is read, I can’t help but think of the many television commercials I’ve seen depicting perspiring athletes lifting a beverage to their lips while the scorching sun beats down on them. Our culture has definite ideas about how to quench thirst. Today, those ideas are turned upside down. The Samaritan woman operates, initially, on the TV commercial level. She asks Jesus for the flowing water so that she will not have to keep coming to the well. Jesus then talks about what real thirst is, and how he, and he alone, can quench that thirst. Lent calls us to find those places deep within ourselves where we thirst. In our thirst, as did the Israelites, we cry out to God asking for springs of living water. Deep down we know that only the Lord can satisfy these thirsts.
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First Reading — When the people grumbled to Moses for water in the desert, the Lord heard and brought forth water from the rock for all to drink (Exodus 17:3-7).
Psalm — If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts (Psalm 95).
Second Reading — God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:1-2, 5-8).
Gospel — Ask, and you will be given living water so that you will never thirst again (John 4:5-42 [5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42]).