“Tormented by thirst”.
These words open our reflection on the Scripture this weekend. The theme dates back nearly four thousand years, but the deeper truth impacts on each succeeding generation. We may not be in a physical desert with Moses, but the lived experience of our times introduces us to so many dark, lonely, isolated and depressed places. For many, ice seems to be the symbol and reality of escape and for some, an answer.
This week the liturgy proposes an alternative, two thousand years old, that has for people down that timeframe, satisfied them and given hope and a purpose in living.
Note again the importance of this reading as the basis of the appropriate scrutiny for the Candidates preparing to be baptised or received into full Communion at Easter.
John’s Gospel tackles the gift of Jesus differently to Matthew, Mark and Luke. John presents to us the great themes:
The conflict between light and darkness
Life and death
The world below and the world of love.
John offers us the great signs that Jesus works:
Water into wine
Giving living water
Being raised on a cross…
…and interprets them for us and asks us to believe that they are signs that reveal God’s extravagant, conquering and abundant love, an absolutely glorious love for each of us. No wonder John appears in our liturgy now as we go deeper into Lent.
Somehow, we need to find the appropriate way to present this vision to our thirsty world, find the courage to talk to one another about what it means and to live it!
We need to recapture the spirit of the Samaritan woman; to go to the town and tell the people
“anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again”.