Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink? Jn: 4, 7. A reflection on the spiritual thirst we experience in our life based on the Bible story of the Samaritan woman. Fr Paul Chetcuti shares his reflection…
A love-thirsty life
We thirst for so many things; a better life, more peace and greater serenity. But can we find at least one person in our life who really does quench our deepest thirst? In the story of the Samaritan woman, we see Christ as somehow sharing the same thirst that we experience as humans. It is the thirst that remained torturing him right up to the cross: “I thirst”. (Jn 19:28)
What we are presented with here is a disappointed and frustrated Samaritan woman tired of having to constantly return to the well-water which never satiated her completely. Just as in her real love-thirsty life. She tried to quench her thirst through six different men but ended up disillusioned. And now, this seventh man seems to be no better. He wants to drink without even having a bucket.
What we really thirst for is unity with others
We can really quench our thirst, only when we realise that our deepest thirst is for the intimate communion of ourselves with that of others. The only way to quench our thirst is therefore by quenching the same thirst in our brothers and sisters. There is no other way of stopping the frustrating, vicious circle of running after the elusive happiness of our false hopes.
Grass is greener on the other side
When we are children we hope that life will be better when we grow up, or when we get married, or when we fulfill our career ambitions, worldly success or comfortable retirement. Yet, like the Samaritan woman, our thirst never seems to go away and we still end up being disappointed and disillusioned.
“It is only in quenching the thirst of others that we can quench our own”
It is only in quenching the thirst of others that we can quench our own thirst. This is quenching the thirst of Jesus in others and the thirst of others for Jesus. Once we drink of the water he gives us, it becomes a source of ‘living water’ right within our very own hearts.
Published: September 2019