Jesus, The Fountain of The Living Water


3rd Sunday of Lent Year A Exodus 17:3-7, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8, John 4:5-42

At home, every time I complain about not sleeping well, having a headache, or being unable to concentrate, my wife’s first words out of her mouth are: “Drink some water.” As much as I find her answer bothersome at times, I must humbly accept that she is right.  The more water I drink, the less I experience those symptoms. The same is true when I do not drink from Jesus, the fountain of the living water. When my wife notices that I am having a restless day or bad attitude, she says to me: “Have you been to Adoration?” “Have you prayed?” Sure enough, my glooming day or lousy attitude disappears after I worship or pray to God. So the lesson here is to drink water and pray to keep your body and soul it top shape.

Our bodies cannot function properly without water, and neither can our souls without Jesus, the fountain of the living water. That is true not only for the Samaritan woman but also for Jesus, for he too, like her, is human. The Gospel of John will illustrate Jesus’ humanity in the next three Sundays. Next week, John will tell us about how Jesus uses mud paste to cure a blind man.  Then on the following Sunday, we will hear about Jesus’ sadness for the death of his friend Lazarus.[1] Today, we heard about Jesus coming to Jacob’s well tire and thirsty from his journey, a thirst that is finally complete on the cross. Our bodies cannot function well without water.

The Samaritan women came to the well looking for water to sustains her human body.  Jacob’s well offered her water from the ground. Instead, she found a different kind of water, water from above, Jesus, the fountain of living water. While the well contains water that satisfies our human thirst in this world. Jesus, the fountain of living water, is the source that satisfies our soul in this life and the next.[2]

The Samaritan woman is thirsty for the word of God. She said to Jesus: “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ, he will tell us everything.”[3] However, she does not recognize that Jesus is the Christ.  Why? Because besides being thirsty, her life’s shortcomings have broken her. Does that sound familiar? Some of us, like the Samaritan woman, wait for Jesus to come to our lives to tell us everything. Yet, our brokenness prevents us from recognizing Jesus in our midst. A theologian says that there are three Jesus. The Jesus who walked the earth 2,000 years ago – who met the Samaritan woman –, the Jesus present in the Eucharist which we are about to receive, and the Jesus who walks among us in our community. In all three, you can find him trying to get our attention. All we have to do is to follow the responsorial psalm instructions: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”[4]  In other words, be vulnerable to God’s call. Let us go of our obsession to control the uncontrollable. Trust in his will for us. Unfortunately, some of us, like the Jews in the desert, have hardened our hearts to God. We have stopped trusting in God. I believe that we do that because, for some of us, God has not met our expectations. And who can blame us for feeling that way?  We are human. Our first instinct is to seek happiness, health, and comfort. The Jews left most everything they have back in Egypt. Then, they wander in the desert for 40 years. Can you imagine that?

On the one hand, the Jewish knew that they are God’s chosen people. However, their knowledge could not square with their inability to get water to drink.

Today, some of us are living a similar desert experience. The Coronavirus pandemic and its side effects have us quarreling and testing the LORD, saying, “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”[5]If that if you,I have some words of comfort. First, it is reasonable to feel angry at God in difficult times. Rest assured, however, that God can handle it. I believe that he welcomes it. He tells us in Revelation: “I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”[6] Second, God loves us, regardless, of what we do. For God is love.[7] Third, God is ready to forgive us if we humbly ask for His forgiveness. Timothy describes it this way: “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.”[8] God never abandons us. It is us who forsake Him.  Despite the Jews’ complaints, God provided them with water to save their bodies. Despite our shortcomings, God has blessed us with Jesus, the fountain of the living water, to nourish and protect our souls. Paul tells us: “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.[9] Jesus, the fountain of the living water, is waiting to give us the same message he gave to the Samaritan women about the coming of the Messiah: “I am he, the one speaking with you.”[10]

When the Samaritan woman came to Jacob’s well, she went looking for water to quench her human thirst.  Instead, she found Jesus, the fountain of the living water. Without hesitation, she drank from that water. Jesus used her brokenness and her willing heart to heal her. Then, at that moment, an extraordinary thing happened; the Samaritan woman became his disciple.  She went to town to share the good news with other Samaritans, and they, too, believed.”[11] They also satisfied their thirst for the word of God directly from Jesus, the fountain of the living water, and so can we.

Let us pray:

Lord, thank you for your incomprehensible love. We want to drink from Jesus, the fountain of the living water. However, we cannot do it alone because we are weak and sinful. Send Your Holy Spirit to guide us to Jesus’ fountain. We ask this in your Son’s holiest name, Jesus Christ. Amen.


[1]http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20140629_direttorio-omiletico_en.html

[2] Cf. John 4:14

[3] John 4:25

[4] Cf. Psalm 95:7

[5] Exoduc 17-7

[6] Revelation 3:15-16

[7] 1 John 4:8

[8] 2 Timothy 2:13

[9] Romans 5:8

[10] John 4:26

[11] John 4:42

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