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Water is a symbol of life itself. Water is also a central symbol in our faith. We are baptized in water, and we bless ourselves with water at church. In today’s Gospel we see water as a symbol of equality—in the eyes of God and in the unity of our shared faith.

In a town called Sychar, we find Jesus at a water well. It’s midday, and the sun is at its hottest. A woman, who we learn is considered an outcast, joins Jesus at the well. Jesus asks her for a drink.

The woman says, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” Jesus responds, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Their conversation continues and Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah. Despite the woman’s identity, Jesus invites her to become a disciple and open herself to God’s “living water”—or the spirit of God.

In welcoming all those with open hearts into his faithful community, Jesus sets a precedent for equality and unity.

Cindy, a mother in Zambia, is a CMMB-trained champion of equality. Cindy encourages gender-related conversations among community members, stands up against gender-based violence, and advocates for positive social change. Read Cindy’s story and learn about the equality she advocates for on our blog.

Through this simple yet powerful exchange of water and conversation, Jesus reminds us that we are all children of God, equal in His eyes, and united on the same journey of faith. As we continue to open our hearts to the suffering of others this Lent, we can find strength and motivation in Jesus’ actions at the well.

Portions of this weekly reflection were inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.