“Give me something to Drink”
In today’s readings, the holy Church presents to us our Lord Jesus as the one who thirsts and hungers for our salvation. Christ is the Living Water who alone can quench our thirst. In the story of the Samaritan woman we see how much Christ thirsts that we should thirst for Him so that He can satisfy us (cf Mt 5:6). The process of embracing Christ’s thirst for us is the process of conversion.
Give me something to drink, Jesus said to the woman. Jesus demanded ordinary charity from her. But this demand immediately exposes the Samaritan woman’s level of living. Her life was guided by human reason and propelled by selfishness and pleasure. She refused to “offer up” her water, arguing it out and blaming others (the Jews) for her lack of compassion and love. But Jesus’ thirst is more than ordinary water; He was thirsting for her salvation.
Our readiness to perform charitable works, to offer up something for Christ always indicates how much the Gospel message has taken root in our hearts. Charity puts faith into action and keeps it alive. Unlike the woman who was stingy with her water, our Lord Jesus is always willing to “offer up” His Living Water and desires that we thirst for it: “If only you knew...you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water.”
Yes! She did not know: her earthly way of life has blindfolded her. Interestingly, it is at this level of her earthly way of life—a life of sin and human rationality—that Jesus offers her the “Living Water”! This gift of salvation is offered to us even while we were still sinners (Rm 5:6). Christ speaks to us in our various ways of life, not to leave us as we are, but to move us a higher level.
This Samaritan woman began to be fascinated by the offer of living water. She started thirsting for the water that Christ offers. However, her thirst at this stage could not embrace Christ’s thirst for her. Just like the seed of the sower that fell into thorns, her thirst for the living water was choked by life of pleasure (cf. Lk 8:14). So she began to ask for the living water with an unrepentant heart, and thus for the wrong reason: “that I may never come here again to draw water”. You cannot serve two masters (Mt 6:24). God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth (Jn 4:24). Jesus took her through the process of admitting and confessing her sins, which is the process of purification of the heart—of conversion.
Now she has seen the Light (Jn 9:5). She can now give Christ something to drink: her heart and those of her neighbours! Since Christ thirsts for our salvation, the drink we offer to quench His thirst is a contrite and purified heart. Lenten observance helps us to discover the real hunger of our souls, and embrace Christ’s thirst for us. Jesus is saying to each and every one of us this season, “Give me something to drink.”