God is Spirit and Those Who Worship Him Must Worship in Spirit in Truth

03-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Water is among the most essential needs of a human being, the absence of which is very likely to ignite an irrepressible thirst that can only be satisfied by it or a similarly drinkable liquid. On their way to the Promised Land, the people of Israel had to journey through deserts that lacked sources of drinking water. The people grumbled against Moses who turned to God for a solution to the problem. The Lord instructed Moses to strike a rock with his staff and the people drank the water that flowed from it. The physical thirst of the Israelites in the desert was a sign pointing to a greater thirst, our thirst for God Himself which cannot be satisfied with physical water. In Psalm 42:1-2, the Psalmist puts it succinctly, “like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is longing for you my God.” Like Israel, we often mask our real longing for God with the deal for pleasure and material things.

We think that we can derive satisfaction and true peace when we get all the pleasures and the temporary comfort that the things of this world can off er. In truth, what our souls really long for is God and the satisfying joy of knowing, loving and sustaining the right relationship with Him. The alcoholic, the addict, the compulsive and impulsive sinner, the materialist and the hedonist, do not really need momentary pleasures to satisfy and quench their thirst for awhile, what they truly need is the life-long refreshing water of life that only Jesus can off er. This is what Jesus offered the Samaritan woman in the Gospel passage this weekend.

When Jesus asked her for water to drink, she thought He thirsted for ordinary water. How wrong she was, the Divine Redeemer thirsted for God’s will which at that moment was to fill her with eternal life. She soon realized this and hurried back to the village where she brought with her more Samaritans who believed Jesus, first on the testimony of the Samaritan woman, and then through the Word which they themselves heard Him preach. Jesus wants to ignite in us a thirst, not for mere water, but for Living Water, sanctifying Grace that springs from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we experience this thirst, this deep longing for God and respond by seeking for temporary palliatives that off er no true satisfaction. Like the Samaritan woman, we should ask Jesus to give us the living and eternal water that permanently satisfies our thirst as long as we are prepared to drink it. Once we truly experience this Living Water, we are bound to seek to share the joy of what we have found with others through evangelisation and the sharing of our faith encounter with God.

The waters of Baptism introduce into our lives the wellspring of salvation. Sometimes we allow sin to dry up this water. If this has happened in your life, this week is a good time for renewal through the sacrament of Reconciliation which should be followed by frequent and reverent reception of the Holy Eucharist.

May God prepare the hearts of our Catechumens who are preparing to be graced with the Living Water. May He help those among us who have become lukewarm as a consequence of grievous sin to seek repentance and renewal, and may all who seek to satisfy their thirst for God find Him waiting for them.

Please be kind and may God bless you.

Fr. Manasseh