The readings this week centre on God’s faithfulness as the source of life, and our human need to trust God’s provision. The theme of life-giving water runs through three of the readings.
The gospel reading for this week, telling the story of the woman at the well, speaks to me more profoundly than any other bible anecdote from Jesus life. It rates, for me, as one of those most important readings of my Christian journey – along with the story of Nicodemus drawn to a late night discussion with our Lord (Jn 3), and Jesus recognition of Nathanael (Jn 1: 45-470).
Each of these stories moves me because I see in the woman, Nicodemus and Nathanael, echoes of my own thirst for God and my need to be accepted and known. Jesus looks at each one, seeing deeply into hearts and souls! He recognises the beauty amidst the harsh reality of sin and the struggle to believe.
The story of the Woman spoke most strongly to me as a young divorced mother of two small children. Feeling rejected and unloved, ashamed and unlovable, I encountered Jesus through the ministry of a bible study group made up of older women. In the love and acceptance of those women (and the parish priest) who came to know me, “warts and all,” I felt the unconditional love of Jesus. I felt I was “known” by God and was filled with a longing to share that sense of belonging, homecoming and deep love, with others.
Just like that woman I felt the need to run and shout out what I had discovered.
In what ways are you challenged to rely on the faithful love and provision of God to supply you with the “living water?”