Ask Jesus for living water, and know that Jesus thirsts for you, too

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By Bishop Robert J, McClory

Diocese of Gary

 

“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.”

(John 4:5-22)

 

      As I travel about the four counties of the Diocese of Gary, I have enjoyed the warm reception I have received in the gatherings and events held in our parishes and schools. It’s a joy to take the time to chat, get to know my new family and say a prayer as we learn about each other. Invariably, one or two people will say, “you must be thirsty, can I get you something to drink?” Bottles of water, glasses of punch and lemonade quickly appear. These small acts are touching and show the kindness and goodness of our people.

      The Gospel passage from the Third Sunday of Lent focuses on the primacy of satisfying thirst in the Holy Land, which is arid land where water is precious. The thirst that Jesus wants to quench goes far beyond a physi­cal longing for a beverage. Jesus wants to satisfy and meet all of our needs.

      His exchange with the Samaritan woman is a template for evangelization. Jesus entered into a conversation with her personally and treated her as an individual, despite the cultural norms that would have disfavored such an exchange. He gave her hope. He gently called her to repentance as he revealed her own past, which was in need of healing. She was so filled with the living water of Jesus by the end of this encounter that she went and told her whole village.

      She was so filled with living water, she was inspired and compelled to invite others to meet Jesus. When our thirst is quenched and we see others who are thirsty, we should be able to share Jesus with them with the same ease and comfort of offering that glass of water to me after a long receiving line.

      We thirst and long for water that will truly satisfy. The irony is that while we thirst for Jesus, he is thirsty for us –– for our souls. The Missionaries of Charity (St. Teresa of Calcutta’s order) place the following words near the crucifixes in their chapel: “I thirst.” These are the words of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday. The following excerpt comes from a beautiful reflection by St. Teresa of Calcutta that shows us how Jesus wants to satisfy our thirst for love and how our souls quench his thirst:

       

“Come to Me all you who thirst …” (John 7:37). I will satisfy you and fill you.

       

Do you thirst to be loved? I love you more than you can imagine … to the point of dying on a cross for you.

       

I THIRST FOR YOU. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you.

       

I THIRST FOR YOU. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you.

       

So precious are you to Me that I THIRST FOR YOU.

       

Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation and give you peace even in your trials. I THIRST FOR YOU.

       

You must never doubt My mercy, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you, and that I accept you no matter what you have done. I THIRST FOR YOU.

       

If you feel of little value before the eyes of the world, it doesn’t matter.There is no one that interests me in the whole world than you. I THIRST FOR YOU.

       

Open up to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me, give me your life. I will prove to you how important you are for My Heart. Don’t you realize that My Father already has a perfect plan to transform your life, beginning from this moment? Trust in Me. Ask Me every day to enter and take charge of your life and I will. I promise you before My Father in Heaven that I will work miracles in your life. Why would I do this?

       

Because I THIRST FOR YOU.

 

      Let Jesus satisfy your thirst with his love and mercy this Lent. Satisfy his thirst by offering him your repentant and loving heart –– and share that love with other souls who are so in need of his love.