Ex 17:3-7
Rom 5:1-2, 5-8
Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

Thirst hidden in the Rock
I am one of those people who have spent more years of my life on a diet than not. Perhaps I ate freely from the age of zero to six, but since then each bite has been measured. What has always surprised me in any heavily focused diet period, is all that I can think about at the beginning of the diet is that thing from which I am suppose to refrain. I have also a similar reaction to my fasting experience during lent, that which I am fasting from becomes that which I most want to eat or do.

During this Lenten season I have been touring churches with out of town company and found several holy water fonts filled with rocks or sand. Immediately upon seeing this I find myself thirsty. The power of symbolism and its impact is amazing.

In the first reading, the Israelites are on their pilgrimage to the chosen land and on the way they are suffering with deep thirst. It is not obvious where they will find the water to quench that thirst. God calls Moses to look in the most unlikely place…in the rock. Later in the gospel reading, Jesus finds himself thirsty and he goes to an unlikely well to be refreshed. There he meets a woman who does not even know about her deeper thirst until she meets him. I find myself identifying with the woman at the well from a whole new vantage point…I wondered how satisfied she thought she was prior to the encounter with Jesus? What about Jesus’ words or presence stirred up that thirst that went beyond the everyday water in the well?

And for me as I walk the journey to the well within…what thirsts within me are hidden within? What are the words made flesh that will break open my own thirst, my own longings, and my hidden secrets waiting to be healed? The psalmist says to us, “If today (not tomorrow, not next week or next month) you hear his voice, harden not your heart.”