March 12, 2023 – Third Sunday of Lent
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/031223.cfm)
Common rural village people teach us a simple wisdom: “If and when the well runs dry, dig deeper. (Kon ang atabay mahubsan, palawoman: Pag ang balon natuyo, hukayin ng malalim.) If we reflect on this deeper, these practical words tell us more about waters or wells but also offers meaning and wisdom about life, relationships, and even faith in God.
We do know how important water is in our life. Water is our basic human need and our life-giving source itself. Our physical body as well as our world is mostly composed of water. Life without water is no life at all. Because of our need for water, wells and springs are also important in life as sources of life-giving water. Unlike now in urban cities where it is enjoyed conveniently at home with tap water on the faucet, usually in rural villages, people have to go and gather in wells and springs just in order get and have water.
In and through wells and springs, we get access to natural water that offers life not only to individuals but to the whole community, as well. Water from the wells and springs bring us together before God’s life-giving water and with one another.
Usually wells and springs of the village is the best place to meet people in the village. Whenever I am on mission in rural areas, I usually go to the wells or springs in the village for meeting and integrating with people. Not only there where I could clean myself and drink water – satisfy my need, there I could also come to experience and know the people’s lives and faith more. Simply put, water wells and springs bring about meeting, encounter, well-being, relationship, community, and communion. For us then, to have an access to and get in touch into God’s life-giving water, we must also go and gather together before God’s wells and springs.
In life we also do experience dryness. Like wellsprings atabay, there are moments in our lives that we feel dry and thirsty in life and in our relationships with God, others and even oneself. There are periods in our life that like the Israelites, we grumble before the Lord about our life-miseries, challenges, and problems, doubting “Is the really Lord with us or not?” Yes, we do have moments of spiritual & personal dryness in our relationship with ourselves, others & God in life.
However, experiences of dryness in life and in our relationships could be an invitation and opportunity to go and be connected with God himself, the source of life. In our experiences of life’s dryness and thirst, As the saying goes “If & when the well runs dry, dig deeper” “Kon ang atabay mahubsan, palawoman. Pag ang balon natuyo, hukayin ng malalim. Thirst for God’s love and/or Dryness in our life and relationships could also be the opportunity to dig deeper, which is, the right time and place to examine our life and relationship, be in touch with our realities and ideals, at the same time deepen our relationships and commitments. In other words, dryness in life are moments of encounters or meeting points where we can experience for ourselves our relationship and commitment with others and with God.
The gospel we have just heard is an account of the meeting of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. This is one of the most touching encounters in the gospels which pictures God’s love and human conversion : a story of God reaching out to us and Us reaching back to God through the person of Jesus.
At Jacob’s well, Jesus expressed God’s thirst for our faith and love for Him as well as offered us God’s life-giving or love-giving life. At Jacob’s well, the Samaritan woman became in touch with her own dryness and thirst, her need for God’s eternal life at the same time quenched her thirst in her encounter-meeting with Jesus. As she met Jesus at Jacob’s well, the Samaritan woman began to know and accept herself deeply (from being a Samaritan, descendant of Jacob, a divorcee to a believer) as well as she began to know and accept Jesus deeply (from a Jew, Sir, Prophet, Christ). At the Jacob’s well, Jesus recognized and satisfied the woman’s need for God’s love, and the woman recognized and fulfilled Jesus’ need for our faith in Him.
In dryness and abundance of water, there may be a lot of positive things will happen at wellsprings of life. Usually at the wellsprings of our life we experience, renew, and deepen our life-commitments and relationships with one another and our faith in God through Jesus.
The season of Lent is also the wellsprings of our Christian life. It is the appropriate place and time to once again in encounter and experience God’s life-giving saving act through the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ.
So again, If and when the well runs dry, don’t look and no need to dig for another well. Just dig your own wellspring deeper and be in touch and be quench once again with your original life-giving water.
We pray then that the Lord may grant us the grace to know you deeply, love you more dearly and follow you closely during this another new Lenten Season of our Christian faith & life. Amen.