Christ is Risen!
Each and every one of us can relate to what it is like to be thirsty. When we are thirsty we drink something – water, coffee, tea…we drink something until we are no longer thirsty. But what happens? After time, we become thirsty once again. As human beings we will always need to drink something in order to live. We also know (or should know) that we are not perfect, especially when we look at ourselves spiritually. In fact, we can say that we have a spiritual thirst, just like the Samaritan woman we find in the Gospel lesson for this Sunday. Just like this woman, we go back to the “well” over and over again in life. The “well” in this case, can be used as a metaphor that can mean anything in our life that we continually return back to – something that we do not receive any long term reward or satisfaction.
As we read through the Gospels, we find that our Lord uses water as a theme in many of them. This Sunday’s reading is one of those instances. Studies have shown that people can go without food for a few weeks; however only a few days without water. It is for a good reason that water is used as such an important theme in this passage. Jesus tells the woman that if she “only knew the gift of God and who it was saying to give Me a drink” you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water. The Samaritan woman did not understand what Jesus meant by “living water” because she was only focused on physical things. It was her physical thirst that kept bringing her back to the well to draw water. Again, we must remind ourselves that when we focus on the physical things in life, we will not satisfy ourselves spiritually. Satisfying the pleasures of this life are not lasting; however we know that Jesus Christ offers something that will last for eternity!
We all know from experience what Jesus is speaking about here. We always want the latest and greatest and most up-to-date things. We have the newest electronics and gadgets, yet we cannot wait until the next one comes out. We have clothes; however we need the newest styles. We have a car; however we need the newest model. We always want more and more! The woman kept going back to the well for water to satisfy her physical thirst. It is not too different for us today. While we may not have to go to the well to draw water, instead we go to turn on our faucets or to the store to buy our bottled water. We keep going back to these sources to quench our physical thirst just to satisfy ourselves just as we keep going back over and over again to the physical pleasures in our lives that we think we need in order to live. These things are not necessarily bad in life, but naturally as human beings, we keep wanting more and more and we are never completely satisfied.
We are blessed to have today’s Gospel lesson explain to us that Jesus offers us living water that will truly satisfy – those who partake and drink it will never thirst! This is a lesson about a “well of grace” that can refresh any soul – no matter what condition the soul is in. As human beings, we all have sin and suffering in our lives. From today’s Gospel, we take the living water Jesus offers so we do not need to remain in our sin and suffering and to know that we do not need to keep coming back to something other than Jesus Christ Himself! Amen.
Christ is Risen!
Fr. Mark Swindle
Holy Virgin Ukrainian Orthodox Church