We are a thirsty people without buckets some days. Today, International Women’s Day, has me focusing on the alternate readings for the First Scrutiny, this third Sunday of Lent. I am remembering my trips to Kenya and DR Congo where I watched women and children toting water miles from local water pipes or holes. In Canada, we buy bottled water when we do not need to….well, most of us. Not too far from my home, some reserves do not have water for their First Nations people. That was recently highlighted by a boil-water alert.
Water is precious. Water is life-giving. In John’s Gospel of the woman at the well, we see that there is a more life-giving resource that we can turn to. A woman who is rejected by society is the one who finds herself having a casual conversation with Christ. He commands her to give him a drink. He does not even say please. This woman though questions him in return: How is it that you….? Suddenly this casual conversation becomes charged.
Jesus eventually remarks that she will never be thirsty again with the life-giving water he offers. In return, she begs for that water but she does not yet comprehend what he means. When he presses her about personal information, she is stunned to realize he knows things about her that he cannot. At last, Jesus reveals who he is: I am he. She moves into action by telling everyone she meets about her encounter. She is one of the first evangelists and many came to believe because of her testimony.
How thirsty are we as Christians? Do we recognize the One who gives us a glass of a life-giving liquid before we know who we are talking to? Can we comprehend that Christ knows every single detail about us, but does not judge us for our shortcomings? Have we understood that he points the way when we are lost? Jesus wants to shower us with preciousness. Will you let him?