This Sunday’s Gospel[1] is the familiar account of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. We know it well. “The woman comes to the well for earthly water. She comes with an empty water jar, a symbol of an empty soul.” Have you ever experienced ‘an empty soul?’

A famous picture has the Samaritan woman looking into the well and seeing there her image – and the image of Jesus. In the depths of the well of her life is the presence of Jesus.[2] In this encounter with the Lord her soul will be refreshed.

“Only the water that Jesus offers, the living water of the Spirit, can quench man’s thirst for the infinite. Gradually the woman recognises that while earthly water is necessary, that she also needs the water that “will well up into eternal life.[3] She has looked for love (has had five husbands) and “now she lives with another man; her going to and from the well to draw water expresses a repetitive and resigned life. However, everything changes for her that day, thanks to the conversation with the Lord Jesus[4] but “only the water that Jesus offers, the living water of the Spirit, can quench” man’s “thirst for the infinite.[5]

We can be tempted to be self-sufficient – especially when our life is going exceptionally well – our ears become deaf to the Lord speaking to us through the power of the Holy Spirit –  “Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again;
but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again.[6]

“On our path of conversion, what a great grace it is to find the Lord Jesus waiting patiently for us beside our senseless wells.”[7]

“On our path of conversion, what a great grace it is to find the Lord Jesus waiting patiently for us beside our senseless wells”[8] offering us the water of eternal life.

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

[1] Jn.4:5-42

[2] https://www.catholicireland.net/sunday-homily/

[3] Cf. Jn.4:14

[4] Benedict XVI, Angelus 24 February 2008

[5] Benedict XVI, Homily 24 February 2008

[6] Jn.4:13-14

[7] https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-03-15

[8] Ibid.