A Nameless Thirst

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Come and See 48
Third Sunday of Lent
Ex 17:3-7
Rm 5: 1-2, 5-8
Jn 4: 5-42

The liturgy of the word presents us with a beautiful narrative from the Gospel of John about what happens between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. This story shows us how Jesus broke the barrier between Jews and Samaritans in order to bring the Good News to all. According to Jewish rules, a Rabbi could loose his reputation if he speaks to a woman in public. Here, Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman. He does this because he desires to give living water to all the thirsty.

Our hearts being restless till they find rest in thee

The truth is that there is a thirst in every human heart that we seem to fail to name it. American novelist Sinclair Lewis said, “On the surface we seem quite different; but deep down we are fundamentally the same. We are both desperately unhappy about something – and we don’t know what it is.”[1] Additionally, St. Augustine confessed, “Our hearts being restless till they find rest in thee.” Needless to say, the longing for something beyond our reach is true. In other words, God puts into a human heart a deep desire and thirst that only Jesus can satisfy and fulfill. In fact, Jesus fulfills a human heart in a strange way in which He leads us to the reality of who we are. Like the Samaritan woman, after having encountered Jesus, she faced herself. Likewise, we also come to know ourselves only after we encounter Jesus. The true revelation brings us to know the truth: the truth about God and the truth about ourselves. Dipping ourselves into this truth, we begin to take a journey of conversion.

Lent is a time for conversion, going back, and returning. Lent invites us, as Christians to recognize the reality of human weaknesses and the reality of God who gives His life unconditionally. Realizing our failures, weaknesses, and sins is the first step to opening up to the forgiveness and love of God. Like the Samaritan woman after conversion, she went forward to tell to her people how wonderful the experience she had with Jesus; we are invited to do the same to remind our friends, family members of how much God loves us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A witness for Christ is not only to speak, but to be ready to break ourselves for others in a painful way as well.

Lord, help me to break my ego, a barrier that prevents me from getting closer to you and from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Help me to break my ego with those whom I find difficult to say sorry and to beg for forgiveness.

Br. Huynhquảng


[1] William Barkley, the Gospel of John (Kentuky:WJK, 2001), 180.

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