“Give me living water, that I may never thirst again.”
– John 4:42, 15

In today’s Gospel, the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well is better understood if we think about the importance of water, especially in the arid climate of ancient Israel, thousands of years ago. At first, the woman understands Jesus’ promise of “living water” in a literal sense:

“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Without running water, the daily trip to the well by the women of the community was critical. Today, we take water for granted, but around the word, many people still don’t have reliable access to clean water. Just last week, our team visited Kitui County, a remote and extremely poor area in eastern Kenya, where a terrible drought and unreliable water sources mean that only 15% of the population has access to clean water. Just like the Samaritan woman in Jesus time, women and children in Kitui spend hours carrying water home. It’s an important job when water means life.

Lent is a time to consider what “living water” means to us. Even today, water means the difference between life and death. Jesus uses the image of water, a resource necessary for survival, to describe himself. When we were baptized, we were like the woman at the well: we came to know Jesus, the Living Water. As we continue our Lenten journey, let’s remember to invite others to drink from “the well that never runs dry.”

Give the gift of clean water to a child in need today. 

*Today’s reflection is adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection

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