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Living water

Living water definitely approaches and will come and fill those who are of little faith, those who have no hope, and those who have lost love

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Lent (Cycle A)

The Spirit nourishes the soul in the same way water nourishes its embodiment, giving life and sustaining life for our own spirits. It pours “into our hearts the love of God.” 

The Apostle explains that though naturally, “few would accept to die for an upright person”, the Christ “dared to die” even when “we were still sinners.” He concludes, “See how God manifested his love for us … when we were still helpless and unable to do anything.” It is then the Spirit which moves us like water to understand and appreciate this beautiful mystery. It inspires us like water to love this loving God, flowing us back to him in reconciliation, and immersing us in the faithfulness and perseverance we will need in serving him to help achieve his kingdom of justice and peace: “By faith, we have received true righteousness, and we are at peace with God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

But are we – consciously alienated from God, and immersed in the faithlessness and indifference of the world – still so blind and hard-hearted as the Israelites at Meribah and Massah, that we should always complain, “Is God with us or not?” Are we not always crying in thirst for a water that is already here, are we not always seeking for a divine presence which we are foolishly refusing to recognize as already being “with us”? The sign at the rock at Horeb will prove to be only temporary; until now, we cannot see nor discern nor act upon the living water being given to us at the Jordan river and at Mount Tabor.

But can we – consciously distant from God, and immersed in the corruption and oppression of other cultures and spiritual traditions – become as open and hopeful as the discriminated Samaritan woman at Sychar, that we can finally utter, “Come and see a man who told me everything I did! Could he not be the Christ?” Is it not an irony that from a well associated with a beloved patriarch of the Israelites, that “a spring of water, welling up to eternal life” should come to nourish and rejuvenate the spirits of those despised by them? Is it not an irony that one of the first to see, discern and act upon this living water, should be a person socially excluded and held in merciless contempt because of gender (a woman), because of her ethnicity (a Samaritan), and because of her shady existence (living with someone who is not her husband)?

Living water definitely approaches and will come and fill those who are of little faith, those who have no hope, and those who have lost love. There are no exceptions.  Living water can even refresh us to moving it forward, enabling us to become missionaries to all peoples, proclaiming “true worship of the Father in Spirit and truth.”  This was the opportunity missed by those enjoying freedom at Meribah and Massah, yet the same opportunity realized by those forsaken from respect at Sychar. 

The Spirit is perpetual.  It is always present for us like water, though hidden yet ever flowing under the deserts in our lives; we are only stubbornly declining to sense it. The liberative joy which we may fully experience in the salvation it offers, is not eluding us; on the contrary, and on many trying occasions, we are actually eluding it.

- Newsletter -

Brother Jess Matias is a professed brother of the Secular Franciscan Order. He serves as minister of the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Fraternity at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mandaluyong City, coordinator of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups of the Capuchins in the Philippines and prison counselor and catechist for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of LiCAS.news.

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