Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
... God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
(John 4:13-15, 24)
The Spring - Finding Life in God
The interaction between a tired Jesus and a Samaritan woman at the well in a city called Sychar, in Samaria, is one of the great ones in the New Testament. Today’s Gospel lesson is taken from a part of that interaction. It’s worth our ongoing prayer and reflection to keep coming back to this story (John 4:1-42).
For today, I want to say this: Whether we have been married five times - like the Samaritan woman - or not, we are all like her. We are all looking for that “spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) The problem is that we often try to find this spring of water apart from God. And we simply won’t find it apart from God, for God/Jesus/Spirit is the spring!
We want to make having enough money the spring, or finding the perfect person the spring, or finding the perfect house the spring. We make holding onto the belief that“I’m right and you’re wrong!” the spring, or “my group/faith/church/political party/country is right and yours is wrong” the spring - another version of the same story. We make eating right or having a certain degree or going to a certain university or having a certain job the spring. We make “I am the ultimate authority for my life” the spring.
But none of these is the spring. If you keep going after these things, expecting THE LIFE or PERFECT FULFILLMENT or ECSTATIC JOY or THE ANSWER - and you exclude God from the journey - you are bound to be disappointed.
This is why people of all faiths are encouraged to learn how to be still... to enter into silence... to pray... to worship... to praise the One who is both Source and Love. Jesus puts it simply: God is Spirit. So if you and I are going to connect with the Spirit - the Force - who made all that is, then we must get out of our heads and move beyond ego-fulfillment, and go inside our own bodies and souls and get in touch with our own spirit, which is grounded and founded in the Spirit of God.
Clean water is amazing. Finding someone to love for the rest of your life is amazing. Good food is amazing. A cozy home is amazing. Having a fulfilling job is amazing. But these things are amazing because they have their origin in “the spring” that is God.
If we miss that connection, then we miss out on Life... Real Life... Eternal Life.
Let’s not miss out. There is a Spring who offers us everything that we will ever need - for free! Let’s keep coming to... and drawing from... that Spring!