The way to satisfy the insatiable thirst lies in our total faith in the ‘Living Water’

       We’ve all experience it. You know what I mean. We feel hungry but what the heck, we just ate dinner a couple of hours ago. Nothing sound particularly appealing but yet it’s there, that black hole that screams to be filled. Or we become thirsty but struggle to quench it. Do we want soda, coffee, an iced tea or will plain water do it? No, nothing seems to slake that thirst.

       In this weekend’s first reading (Ex 12:3-7), the Israelites are experiencing what, on the surface, appears to be a great physical thirst. There they are, wandering in the desert, mumbling their numberous complaints to Moses: “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt (the same Egypt where, by the way, they were held in slavery)? Was it just to have us die here of thirst…”

       We can sympathize. They just came out of bondage where they were nothing more than chattel to the pharaoh and company. They were worked half to death, beaten on whim and certainly, many died at the hands of their captors. But it familiar to them; their lifestyle in that foreign land was their comfort zone.

       Now here they were in the middle of nowhere…no shelter, let alone a home of their own, no water to drink, no food to eat. They mumble and grumble. Where is God when you need God the most? They were a people seemingly lost in life.

       Moses is getting a tad bit nervous. “What shall I do with this people? A little more and they will stone me.”

       Predictably, God comes through, instructing Moses to strike a rock with his staff. Water flowed freely; the day was, once again, saved for the wandering hoards but will their thirst truly be quenched? Time and time again, we see their faith tested. Time and time again, they receive an “F” for their efforts.

       If I were in God’s shoes (and it’s a good thing you’re not, you might be saying), I might be scratching my head, doing my own mumbling. Seriously, I would ask myself.

       We all carry a thirst within us that most often cannot be quenched. Jesus knew that when he spoke to the woman at the well in Samaria that day. (Jn 4:5-42) When our Lord told the woman, “Give me a drink,” she took his words literally and presumed he was asking for a drink of water. There was a thirst that needed to be quenched.

       But Jesus knew, instead, there was a thirst within this Samaritan woman who, by the way, had blown through five husbands and was living with a man to which she had not married. She was a sinner who, like the Israelites, was thirsting for something beyond her reach, beyond true understanding.

       Pointing to the well, Jesus tells the woman: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; the water I shall give will become… a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

       How does she reply? With a trust born out of her longing to fill that which was empty within her.

       “Sir, Give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.

       It’s tiring to keep coming to the well hoping to fill that which is empty within us. Instead of turning to our Lord, we attempt to fill the emptiness with a myriad of other things – alcohol, drugs, sex, food, to name only a few.

       So how do we begin to fill ourselves with all we need – all that will carry us from this life into the next? We start by making peace with our God, by putting our faith in him and by coming to truly believe that the God who loved us into being will never let us crash and burn.

       Ask yourself, as Moses asks the Israelites, “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”

 

Debbie Bosak is the editor and general manager of Northwest Indiana Catholic Publications and a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Merrillville. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .