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Jesus - A Well of Living Water

The theme of today’s Mass centres around water. Water is the source of life but also of destruction. So we have the story of the Flood, which brought salvation to Noah and his family but death to a sinful world; the crossing of the Red Sea, which meant life and liberty to the Israelites but death to the army of the Pharaoh; and the water from the rock for the Israelites in the dryness desert.

The Gospel tells the story of the Woman at the Well and it also centres around the theme of water and life. Jesus shows himself to a Samaritan Woman as a person in need: tired, hungry and thirsty. She asks if she can have this living water Jesus offers her. But the water that Jesus gives is different. What is this water that Jesus speaks about? It is God’s Spirit which comes to us in Baptism and is the source of eternal life. Baptism is the outward, symbolic sign of a deep reality, the coming of God as a force penetrating every aspect of a person’s life. This happens through our exposure to Jesus and to the Gospel’s vision of life. As the Second Reading says, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit”. It is not just a question of a ritual washing or immersing and saying magic words but of a real drinking in of that Spirit. The spirit quenches our thirst, not by removing our desire for God’s presence but by continually satisfying it.

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