who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever
drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water
I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling
up to eternal life.”
In this “pearl” of the Gospel, Jesus’
conversation with the Samaritan woman near Jacob’s
well, he speaks of water as the simplest of elements,
but one that proves to be the most desired, the most vital
for whoever is familiar with the desert. No great explanations
were needed to convey the importance of water.
Well water is for our natural life, whereas the living
water that Jesus is speaking of is for eternal life.
Just as the desert blooms only after an abundant rainfall,
similarly the seeds buried in us at baptism can bud forth
only if sprinkled with the word of God. Then the plant
grows, giving off new shoots and shapes that become a
tree or a lovely flower, all because it receives the living
water of the word of God, which gives it life and preserves
it for eternity.
Jesus’ words are
addressed to all of us who are thirsty
in this world: to those who are conscious of their spiritual
aridity and who still suffer thirst, and to those who
are not even aware of the need to drink from the fountain
of true life and of the great values of humanity.
Jesus is actually extending an invitation to all men and
women today, revealing where we can find the answer to
our questions and the fulfillment of all our desires.
It is up to us, therefore, to draw from his words, to
let ourselves be imbued with his message.
By re-evangelizing our life, measuring it against his
words, trying to think with the mind of Jesus and to love
with his heart.
Every moment in which we seek to live the Gospel is like
drinking a drop of that living water. Every gesture of
love for our neighbor is like a sip of that water.
Yes, because that water, which is so alive and precious,
has something special about it. It wells up within us
each time we open our hearts to others. It’s a wellspring
of God that gives water to us in the measure in which
it flows out from us to quench the thirst of others through
small or big acts of love.
to avoid suffering thirst, we must give to others the
living water within ourselves that we draw from him.
Very little is needed — at times a word, a smile,
a simple gesture of solidarity, to give us a renewed sense
of fulfillment, of profound satisfaction, a surge of joy.
And if we continue to give, this fountain of peace and
life will pour out water evermore abundantly and will
never dry up.
Jesus revealed to us yet another secret, a kind of bottomless
well from which we can draw. When two or three are united
in his name, by loving one another with his very own love,
he is in their midst (see Mt 18:20). And it is then that
we are free, that we are one, full of light, with rivers
of living water flowing from within us (see Jn 7:38).
It is the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise, because
it is from Jesus himself, present in our midst, that thirst-quenching
water wells up for eternity.
- Chiara Lubich