Water sustains both body and soul. In today’s first reading, Moses cracks open a rock with a strike of his staff. Water gushes forth, quenching the thirst of thousands of Hebrew refugees on a great migration, the Exodus. Their fate in the Sinai desert 3500 years ago is far more fortunate than that of the migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert today. Over the past 20 years, an estimated 10,000 migrants have died near the US/Mexico Border. Dehydration is a primary cause. Water jugs, such as the one repurposed at an Arizonan church below, litter the borderlands.
In the spiritual life, there is a water that only God can give. It is not a physical water. It is the source of life itself, and it wells up within us when we turn to His Son, Jesus. When we experience this water, it can feel like “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts” as our second reading describes. This water is not only for privileged groups. It is for all people, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. This is a water first articulated to a cultural outcast, the Samaritan woman, in today’s Gospel. Jesus goes beyond ethnic borders and the temptation to judge her moral status. Instead, He shows her – and by extension, all of us – the way to everlasting life, His true self, the Savior of the World.
For prayer today, I encourage you to ask God to pour His love out into your heart. In our woundedness, it can be easy to close ourselves off from God. But today is a day to take a risk. Invite Him to enter into your wounds. Let the staff of Moses crack open your own heart. Allow the well-spring of His life and love to gush forth from within you. When we have the courage to reveal our deepest vulnerabilities to the Lord, our wounds become the founts of His grace. All it takes is a willingness to crack ourselves open for His saving water to flood us within.
Thomas Doran is a Jesuit novice from Omaha, Nebraska. He is working with JRS/USA as a part of Jesuit formation called “Long Experiment.” Thomas will share weekly reflections during Lent. Click here to see his reflection from last week.