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Third Sunday of Lent – Cycle A

Reflecting on John 4: 5-42

I hate drinking water when I’m not thirsty, and, due to my sedentary lifestyle, I’m almost never thirsty. But there it sits, the chart of the eight empty boxes I’m supposed to check off, as I gag down those 64 ounces of water every day. It’s like having a full-time job. It’s got great benefits, but you actually have to put in the work to get them.

Metaphorically speaking, I don’t think we as a culture are very much in touch with our thirst either. There’s too many things pretending to be water. We can shove our thirst underground with endless diversions. (I gave up scrolling the internet for Lent, by the way, and all of a sudden I notice my thirst for the living God. It turns out I’m thirsty after all.) Thank God for Lent.

The thing about thirst is that, since we don’t know we’re thirsty, dehydration creeps up on us. We’re feeling achy, our brain is foggy. We blame it on everything else but the culprit: we don’t thirst for water. The opposite scenario is that we’re sick with illnesses that deplete our fluids, and all of a sudden dehydration is suffocating us.

In the chapel at the Samaritan House in Denver there is a crucifix, and the last words of Jesus underneath it: I thirst. Guests at the shelter are often found there, prostrate underneath the crucifix. They are dying of thirst, dying for recovery from poverty, dying for the deep love of Jesus.

Has dehydration set in in your soul? Have you thirsted for that which doesn’t satisfy? Tell Jesus that you thirst for him. The great gift is that he is even thirstier for you.

What ways have you used to divert yourself from your thirst for Jesus?

Kathy McGovern©2023

Lent - Cycle A

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