"Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink'" (Jn 4:7). Jesus was thirsty. So he asked the Samaritan woman for water to drink. So here, Jesus' thirst for water is beyond the bodily need for refreshment; Jesus thirsts for the Samaritan woman's faith. So in Lent, our elects and all the baptized prepare their hearts to receive and profess faith in the paschal lamb who, by his passion, death and resurrection, has won us victory over sin and death. Each of us thirsts for living water, Christ's divine life. Each of us longs for something beyond our capacity to provide, a deep desire in our soul; only Jesus can supply or satisfy it. Are you thirsty?
We may or may not realize it, but in each of us is a thirst for divine love, a more profound longing than we imagine. Unfortunately, we often don't give this a thought. Whenever we find our spirit restless, it is because it is yet to find a suitable home in Jesus Christ. So, we continue to search in the wrong places, like the Samaritan. Lent offers us time to seek Jesus and get attached to Him. He is the trustworthy source of living water, the only thing satisfying our thirst.
Prayers, fasting and almsgiving, are spiritual means of opening up our hearts to Jesus to drench them in the living water, and the water He shall give will become in us a spring welling up to eternal life. So let's keep the spirit of Lent and intensify our thirst for the living water Jesus alone can give.
I ask all of us to pray, especially for our elects, James Hathaway, Samantha Cornwell, Terry Martin and Drake Pugh, who undergo their First Scrutiny this Sunday as part of their spiritual journey toward receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter Vigil. I also ask you to pray for all our confirmands as Bishop Ronald Gainer confirms them this Sunday afternoon. I told them last Sunday during their interview that the best way to prepare for the strengthening of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in them is to thirst for it every day. So may they be satisfied by the living water that Jesus gives.
Friday, March 17, is a special day for me-a Nigerian Irish! It is the feast of St. Patrick. As you probably know, the bishop has lifted the lenten obligation to abstain from meat just so that we joyfully celebrate the faith of a great missionary who had his thirst for liberation and joy fulfilled by Jesus. As we say in Irish Gaelic, Beannachtai na Feile Padraig oraibh/ Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Your Thirsty Irish,
Fr. Bernard, OP