From the vault, from one of my favorite homilies, about one of my favorite Gospels:
We are all, in a sense, the woman at the well.
We thirst for love, or mercy, or understanding. We thirst for justice or peace. Our throats are parched by indifference and selfishness and cruelty. We feel ourselves spiritually dry.
We thirst for wholeness. We thirst for grace.
And we find it, like the woman at the well, not in ordinary water from a deep cistern, but from Christ.
Among other things, this episode illustrates a recurring theme in the gospels. Put simply: an encounter with Jesus changes everything. We hear it again and again. The blind see. The dead rise. The lame walk. The sinner is forgiven. A woman who just wanted to get some water finds her whole life transformed.
And so, conversion begins. And it is not a one-time event. It is the journey of a lifetime.
Conversion, of course, is part of our own Lenten story. During this time, we are seeking to be something better than we were. Two and a half weeks ago, as a sign of that, we were marked with ashes. We joined Jesus in the desert. We now spend this time looking more closely at who we are, what we have become, what we pray to be.
And, in our desert, we thirst.
But this gospel tells us that whatever we are thirsting for—whatever is lacking in our lives—Christ will provide. He offers us living water.
— Preached on the 3rd Sunday of Lent, 2014. Read it all.