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Living Water

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;

but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;

The water I shall give will become in him

a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

One of the reasons I was attracted to, at first the religious life then the priesthood, was the depth of the religious men and women I had met. It’s all good and well to have ambition in academics or one’s career, but once you get past the fact that money and worldly success do not provide contentment, you look for other ideals to follow in life. It was fascinating to me that these intelligent persons used their gifts and talents not to enrich themselves but to enrich others. It was through several deep conversations with those who, as in the parable of the one who finds a treasure in a field, risked giving up everything to embrace Christ, their true treasure, that I too wanted to drink of the well that gave them abundant life.

The woman at the well just does not know what is about to hit her! Noting that she had five failed marriages and was now living with yet another partner, paints a picture of a person who may have been shallow and weak in character. It is Jesus who initiates the conversation by asking her for a drink. He turns the conversation around by stating that if she knew who he was, she would be asking him for “living water.” Through the conversation, the titles she invokes towards Jesus underlines her deepening awareness of who she is talking to, moving from Sir, to prophet, to Messiah, and finally, to Christ. The Samaritan people in the village also acknowledge him to be the “Savior of the world.”

Who do you associate with? Have you entered a conversation with a holy person that pulled you to a deeper understanding of your life and dreams that took you to a deeper level of faith? We who open ourselves to conversing with the Christ will also learn that the one who knows everything about us is the only one who can fill us spiritually with the gift of peace, joy and life if we but enter into a prayerful dialogue with him, at the well.

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