Thirst and Water
by Fr. Pio Vottola, O.Praem.
On the third Sunday in the desert of Lent, we hear from the readings a major theme of thirst and water; of faith and peace in Jesus Christ.
The people in the desert complain that they are going to die because of their thirst and need for water, and God allows Moses to strike a rock and bring forth enough water for hundreds of thousands of people. That Rock is a foreshadowing and type of Christ Himself.
In the Gospel is the Samaritan woman at the well. She is there looking for a drink, but not of water; she is continuing to look for happiness in the disordered pleasures of her life… and yet Jesus initiates by asking her for a drink; indeed, He wants to drink from the deepest part of her soul. He gives the woman an intimate conversation where He reveals to her the truth about herself and gives her the gift of faith in Him. He wanted to drink from the desire she has for true happiness that can only be found in Him because He placed it there. Christ wants to do the same for us now, at this moment in our lives.
In the Sacrament of Confession, He wants to have this intimate conversation with each of us, where, as with the woman, He already knows what we’ve done, our sins, and yet He is not angry or disappointed, but wants to show you tender love and mercy. Will we ask for and take that drink? He will be so pleased to see our trust in Him, our Rock in this desert.
Will we utilize the faith that St. Paul told us in the second reading justifies us and gives us peace because we put our hope in Jesus Christ?
I want to end with what I think is an excellent prayer that we can use any time for reflection, but especially in Lent and especially in current times. It’s known as the “Serenity Prayer,” though we know it usually in its short form:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for Him. Continue to persevere in your Lent, your prayers, and your relationship with the sacraments… with God.
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During this season of penance and mercy, the evil spirit, always envious of the human race, seeks to prevent us from profiting from God’s grace. His strategy is clever and manifold.
St. James admonishes the early Christians and us not to show partiality towards the rich and well-to-do over the poor amongst ourselves in the Church. He reminds us to fulfill the royal law according to the scriptures, Love your neighbor as yourself.
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