Living Water | iPray with the Gospel (3rd Sunday of Lent)
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink”…The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water”… The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
She just came for water. She wasn’t interested in chatting with anyone and much less with a Jew. Yet Jesus was there because He was thirsty, not for water but her soul. She wasn’t interested in God but God was interested in her. She wasn’t looking for Jesus, however, Jesus was seeking her. See how Jesus made her interested in the conversation: Jesus didn’t start directly telling her that she was a sinner and needed conversion and to get rid of her fifth partner. That wouldn’t have any effect on her. Instead, Jesus started asking for something because He wanted to offer something. It looks like a good seller’s strategy. Since her only concern was water, Jesus spoke of water to catch her attention. Then He addressed the conversation to ‘another kind’ of water – grace.
Apostles need ‘marketing’ to make people interested in their ‘eternal goods’. Like the priest who met a young girl on the train. With a bit of disdain, she asked him, ‘Why are there still people like you?’ The priest answered kindly: ‘As long as there are people looking for happiness, for justice in the world, for peace, for the protection of the innocent, vulnerable and marginalized, for the end of poverty, for freedom, for the spread of Love, there will be priests. Is there anything on that list that you don’t like?.’ As the girl nodded, the priest added, ‘Maybe…we are on the same ship, but in different cabins.’ The girl was taken by surprise by that answer. She went to the internet to check what Catholics really believed. Two months later she was starting her catechism lessons in the parish. That priest knew how to ‘sell the product’. Mary, Queen of the Apostles, teach me to do apostolate to attract people to God since God is passionately interested in them.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).