The wonder of prayer is revealed in our Gospel reading today where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well. The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we, too, come seeking water. There, Jesus, too, comes to meet us in prayer.
Consider this Gospel --- in prayer. It is Jesus who first seeks you and asks you for a drink --- “Give me a drink.” Would you give him some of your time? Your attention? All times are good for prayer: morning and evening, before and after meals, the Sunday Mass, the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross --- anytime!
Jesus thirsts! His asking for a drink comes from the depths of his love for you! Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. Saint Augustine wrote, “God thirsts that we may thirst for God!” Think about that. Think about how much God loves you! Saint Paul said it in our second reading, “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” God thirsts that we may thirst for God!
When we think about prayer we usually think about getting things from God --- like the woman in the Gospel – water from a well. But “you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” Prayer is both a response of love to a thirsty God and a response of faith to His promise of salvation --- living water. This is more than about “getting things.” This is about life in the Holy Spirit --- Eternal Life! Thirst for God is only quenched by the water of eternal life --- but it begins in prayer --- now --- “in Spirit and truth,” Jesus said.
For what do you thirst? Really thirst? One thing for which we all thirst is love – with God and with others. The woman in the Gospel must have been looking for love in all the wrong places --- she had five husbands, and the man she was with was not her husband. How many of us might fit that description, too? Looking for love --- in all the wrong places.
“If he really loves me, why would he say that?” you might ask. He said it because he really loves you! He tells you he is the Christ. Now, go and tell others about your personal experience with Jesus.
Rev. Mark Zacker