(Third Sunday of Lent)
Sunday, March 19, 2017.
It goes without saying that we need water to live. And whenever there is a deficit of water in our body, we experience thirst – the distressful urge caused by our unmet need for water. The longer the need goes unmet, the more painful it becomes. It will eventually lead to death if there is no intake of water within a given time.
It can also be said that if the human body receives the water it needs in a constant and systematic manner, the person will not come to experience the distressful feeling of thirst. Thus, an appropriate supply of water consumed to satisfy our need for water, eliminates the feeling of thirst. However, once water is withheld, thirst signals that the need has reappeared.
Just like the proper use of an inexhaustible supply of water prevents the onset of thirst, a similarly inexhaustible supply of, say, food will prevent the onset of hunger. The same principle applies to all human needs; that is, once a need is satisfied, that need no longer exists. Once human beings find a way to properly and fully satisfy their needs, then we can say they have found a way to neutralize said needs.
God is the living water and “whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst” (John 4:14).
What is this living water?
It is the caring commitment that bonds men with one another, and prompts them to mutually meet all their needs (physical and spiritual) in a manner that frees them from experiencing the destructive effects of unmet needs – physical or spiritual.
An example that clarifies the concept of the living water: is the commitment parents make to their children.
Through their efforts, work, and sacrifice, parents give their child all he needs so that his needs can be properly and timely met. The parents’ caring commitment renders the child’s needs actually inexistent because said needs are never left unmet.
The parents’ unselfish care, loving commitment, and unconditional dedication constitute the spring of living water that satisfies the needs of their children. And the children, through the example of their parents, learn not only to receive, but also to give such living water. Therefore, parents and children can rejoice together because the living water flows between them.
This living water flows between people working toward their common welfare: “The sower and the reaper can rejoice together” for they are “sharing the fruits of their work” (John 4:36, 38).
How does man satisfy his hunger and thirst for God?
By doing the will of God and finishing his work (John 4:34), thus, the will of God and our work are the fountain of living water. Man’s work consists of giving humanity the ability to live in a world where people properly and fully meet all of their needs.
The world is against generating living water
Our world has turned the possession of goods (whose sole and proper use is the satisfaction of everybody’s needs) into the privilege of a few. Consequently, there are many people whose needs are unmet, who die of hunger and disease; there are many workers who produce wealth, but are dispossessed of it and forced to live in subhuman conditions.
Just as our body needs water to live, so does everybody need peace and unity to reach fullness of life. That is, we all need the living water, which allows us to live as wholesome human beings. However, humanity is dying of “thirst” because man deprives man of the living water he needs to live.
The living water God shares with you is the same water you must also share with all; it is the water that satisfies all your human needs (materially and spiritually), the water that becomes in you “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco)