Only Jesus Satisfies
Feb. 27 — Third Sunday of Lent
Readings: Ex 17:3-7; Rom 5:1-2, 5-8; Jn 4:5-42, or 4:5:15, 19-26, 39, 40-42
"My food is to do the will of the one who sent Me and to finish His work." Jn 4:34
The priest had just finished proclaiming the Gospel at the 11 a.m. Mass, and a sentence stuck in 6-year-old Johnny's mind, "I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me will never hunger" (Jn 6:35). He whispered to his mother, "Mommy, did he say, 'never'? I'm really hungry, and I want to have lunch right after church." She smiled and whispered back, "Shhh, Johnny. Don't worry. I'll fix you lunch after Mass."
Double meanings concerning food and drink figure prominently in today's Gospel about the Samaritan woman at the well. Like Johnny, the Samaritan woman at first doesn't understand the deeper meaning. Both Jesus and the Samaritan woman are at the well, and Jesus asks her for a drink. She is surprised that He even speaks to her since Jews consider Samaritans spiritual and ethnic half-breeds. But Jesus draws her into conversation and makes the startling claim that whoever drinks the water that He will provide will never thirst. She takes Him literally and responds, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water" (Jn 4:15).
Only when Jesus reveals her sins to her and then tells her that He is the promised Messiah does she understand. In a revealing detail, she leaves her water jar behind and goes into town to tell her fellow Samaritans about Jesus. She is no longer concerned about getting a drink from the well. Instead, Jesus has awakened in her a spiritual thirst for salvation. And now she wants to share the good news that He brings with others.
A little later, the disciples urge Jesus to have something to eat, but He reveals to them His deeper purpose with the Samaritan woman: "My food is to do the will of the one who sent Me and to finish His work" (Jn 4:34). Jesus is saying that He came to fulfill His Father's will by bringing salvation to sinners like the Samaritan woman.
Lord Jesus, let me know my sins. Satisfy my spiritual hunger and thirst for You alone. Then, help me to share with joy what You have done in my life. Amen.
64, 588, 1811
Diary of St. Faustina