3rd Sunday of Lent (Ages 6-9): Springs of Water, Gushing Up
(full reading: John 4.5-42)
Listen to the Gospel and Reflection
On the third Sunday of Lent, we hear a conversation Jesus has as he takes a break from walking from town to town. His disciples have gone into a city to buy food. Meanwhile, Jesus waits by a well in the hot sun. He does not have a way to get the water that lies in the well.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
This is a strange thing for Jesus to do. It is not ordinary for a man to speak to a strange woman. It is not ordinary for Jewish people like Jesus to speak to people from Samaria, like this woman. But Jesus is not ordinary. He wants to talk to her anyway. He is thirsty and he asks her for a drink.
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Living water? What is that?
We know that we need water to live. If we plant seeds, we know that we have to water them or else they will never grow. If we make bread, we have to place yeast in water so that it will come alive and make the dough rise. If we have pets, we have to give them water to live. Without water, nothing can live. So we can say, water brings life.
But Jesus says he has living water. His water is alive. Something alive that brings life. Who could that be?
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?
That is a good point. Jesus does not have a container to get Living Water. That means that he already has Living Water. He has this gift of God. And he wants to share.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.
Okay, so this Living Water is way different from ordinary water. And our thirst—our being thirsty—must not be ordinary thirst.
The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
We get thirsty all the time for water—water that we need for life.
We must also be thirsty for Living Water—Living Water that we need for eternal life. Life with no end.
Life that has conquered death.
The life that Jesus enjoys.
Jesus says that Living Water will become a spring of water inside us. That spring of water that brings life will gush up in us, bringing us to the greatest life—eternal life.
When does this happen? When do we get this Living Water?
There is a moment before Baptism, when the priest stretches out his hand over the water. His hand begins up high, and then moves low over the water. It is prayer.
He asks for a gift of God. Who comes, filling the water, making it holy?
The Holy Spirit.
Living Water pours over us on the outside, but Jesus says, it becomes in us,
a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.
What do springs of water do?
They run off over the earth, joining other springs to form streams. Streams flow together to form rivers. Rivers run to the sea. The waters cover the earth filling it with life.
And this is Living Water. What does it fill the earth with?
We can begin to join other springs now! We can join hands with the people around us, right now. Try it!
Springs of water,
joining with each other,
together flowing towards God,
towards eternal life.