From our Pastor: March 15, 2020

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to a poor Samaritan woman and tells the
whole truth about her husbands ( John 4:5-42) – even though the truth could possibly
embarrass and hurt her. So, one might ask: if Jesus Christ really loves her, and He does, why did He do it? He did it because He really loves her. For if she left that water well not knowing that Jesus knew her deepest shame, she would have left thinking “He seems to love me, but if He really knew about me He would never even have spoken to me.” Jesus showed her that indeed He did really know her. He knew that she had been in relationships that were not truly loving and some that might have given her a glimpse of love. And Jesus knew the love that her heart was ultimately thirsting for: the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (God is love, 1 John 4) – and Jesus wanted to save her from any false loves that would leave her alienated, despondent and dry.

Like the Samaritan woman, we realize that we have a deep thirst for more than
water. As Jesus thirsts for our souls, for us to be one in Him, in communion with Him,
we thirst for the water of Jesus Christ, welling up to eternal life, so that we may never
thirst again. It is a thirst for meaning and purpose in our life that we cannot satisfy by
our own efforts. Only God Himself can satisfy such a thirst. In the heart of our being,
therefore, Jesus constantly draws us to Himself, toward intimate, personal friendship
with Him, with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with His eternal, transcendent
love – because only His love will satisfy our thirst, giving meaning and purpose to our
life. This is precisely why even when all of our earthly thirsts are satisfied, when we
have money, successes, and pleasures, we’re still restless. It is only in God that we find
true, eternal joy, for “man is made to live in communion with God…” (Catechism of
the Catholic Church #45).

In an awesome way, Jesus satisfies our thirst with His Church, Word and Sacraments,
and His gift of prayer. For example, when we confess our sins in the Sacrament of Penance (also known as Confession, Reconciliation), we might feel ashamed, embarrassed and hurt, acknowledging how we’ve tried to quench our spiritual thirst in sinful ways – and in that Sacrament, we discover that Jesus still wants us, still loves us, still yearns for us, regardless of what we have done. Jesus awaits us in Confession, looking for us to truly repent, to turn away from sin and seek His mercy and love. Let us continue to pray that this Lent we might tire of the counterfeit sense of love that comes from sin, prideful self-affirmation, selfishness and denial of our sin, and that we come humbly to the Sacrament of Penance as poor sinners thirsting for God’s mercy, His loving forgiveness, His love that is real and eternal.

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William

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