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Is the Lord’s Promise to Never Thirst Again Real? Yes! Here’s How.
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 3/23/2014 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 03/24/2014 1:53:14 AM PDT by markomalley

The beautiful gospel of the woman at the well which we read today, Sunday, has so many wonderful teachings that not can be dealt with in one sermon. Hence, I’d like to consider a couple of teachings that relate to the gospel.

In this post I’d like to deal with the question of the efficacy of Grace which many struggle to experience when it comes to the promises that Jesus extends. Jesus promises the Samaritan woman water that will satisfy her, unlike the water of the world. Specifically Jesus says, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will be coming him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13-14).

The Samaritan woman seems less than convinced, at one point even scoffing that Jesus doesn’t even have a bucket! While perhaps rude, her scoffing does give voice to legitimate questions people raise to the promises of Christ, and those of us who preach his message.

Even many faithful Catholics struggle to understand exactly what Jesus means when he says that we will never thirst again. Indeed, many who have accepted Christ still struggle, still long for completion, still feel thirsty.

How then, can we understand what the Lord is teaching here? What does it mean to never thirst again, and how do we lay hold of this promise? Let’s look at the issue in three stages.

I. Clarity – As the Gospel opens, we have a teaching from Jesus which helps us to clarify our desires. A woman (this means you) comes to a well (this means the world). She comes because she is thirsty (and this refers to all of our desires). She thinks the well will satisfy her. But it will not. For no sooner than she has a drink, she’s on her way to being thirsty again. And thus the well (i.e. the world) can provide momentary pleasures, but no lasting ones.

Jesus is there waiting for her. He is also waiting for you and me were filled with many desires and questions. He says to her, Everyone who drinks from this will be thirsty again (John 4:13). And in this he is helping her and us to clarify that it is simply a fact that our desires are infinite and unlimited. Therefore, a finite in limited world cannot satisfy us.

And in this, the Lord clarifies our desires. They are in fact infinite, we are never really satisfied. Therefore our desires are not really about the world at all, they are ultimately pointing us to God who alone is infinite, and who alone can really satisfy our desires or fill the God-sized hole in our hearts. Yes, here is clarity, only God can satisfy us, the world simply cannot cut the deal; it is finite and limited.

Meeting us at the well of the world, where we come (once again) to draw from it,  the Lord says in effect “How’s that working for you?” Indeed, how foolish we are, we really think that a new job, a new relationship, little more money, the latest upgrade to the software etc. will somehow satisfy us. It will not, it cannot. An old song says it well, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” Everyone of drinks from this will be thirsty again.

So here is clarity about our desires:

Okay Lord, thanks for the clarity, but now, with the Samaritan woman we want to say to you “Give us his water so that we will not be thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water!” (John 4:15)

In other words, how do we unlock this blessing? Do we simply answer an altar call? Do we simply accept baptism? Do we simply say “I believe, now give me my blessing”?

Some of us may even more cynically say, Look I’ve been doing this walk with Jesus for a while now, and I’m still thirsty, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for!

And thus the question, How do I unlock these blessings; how do I lay hold of this promise of Christ?”  becomes a critical one for the Church, and for any who would preach this gospel.

The answer is twofold: conversion, and conversation. Let’s look at each one in turn.

II. Conversion -  When the Samaritan woman says, “Give me this water…”  Jesus answers her by saying, Go call your husband and come back. (John 4:16).

In other words, Jesus wants to give her this blessing, but first there is an obstacle, an obstacle that must be dealt with. Most of us to know the story of the Samaritan woman and thus know that she has had five husbands, and is now simply living with a man outside of marriage. Though we do not have all the details, this personal history speaks to us of her many sorrows, sins, and struggles. Surely there are issues of sexual sin, she’s living together with a man outside of marriage. But there are any number of other issues that must have accompanied her many marriages, such as struggles with forgiveness, patience, mercy, self-esteem, the list could go on. These struggles and students must be dealt with before the living waters can fully flow.

Consider that if I had fifty gold bricks to give you, and you were holding a box full of sand. In order to make room for the gold bricks, I must first help you to empty your box of sand. The sand must go, to make way for the gold. So it is with us, that our sins must give way to make room for the living waters of God’s grace.  Conversion is necessary and essential to lay hold of the promises of Christ.

And so the Lord says to this woman “Go call your husband.” What does the Lord have to say to you? What conversions are necessary in your life? What obstacles must be removed for the living waters to flow?

And thus, the Lord’s promise of living Waters is not mere magic. It is a promise that stands, but simply answering an altar call, or thinking some perfunctory declaration will be enough to lay hold of it is not realistic. There is more involved here and simply cleaning glass. Human beings are complicated, we have many moving parts. Through conversion, we must increasingly turned to the Lord allow him to make way for these living waters.

III. Conversation -  The Lord goes on to have a rather lengthy conversation with the Samaritan woman. We do not have all the details, and many of them are none of our business. Nevertheless, the conversation leads her, by stages, to greater joy, and finally to the point where she is able to leave her water jar, (a very symbolic act) and to run to town and joyfully tell others of the glorious Lord and Messiah she has met!

Of course her conversation, is a symbol for the longer conversation the Lord needs to have with us. “Conversation,” can be understood here is a kind of journey we make with the Lord who, along the way, enters into an ever deeper dialogue with us through prayer, and his presence in our life.

There is for the Christian the summons to enter into an ever deeper, living and conscious contact with the Lord at every moment of our day. And thus, not only in our prayer, but throughout our day, in the people we meet, in the created world, and in the events of our day, we experience the Lord speaking to us, present to us.

Here then is described an ever deepening conversation with the Lord, a transformative union where his living waters flow ever more deeply. The increasing results, if we stay with him in the conversation, are deeper serenity, joy, freedom from sin, and ever deepening satisfaction with the magnificence of his grace, and his word.

And so we, like the woman at the well, see less and less need for a water jar, that is, for our obsessive need to collect the things of the world and store them up. We, like the woman at the well, come to a point where we can leave the water jar behind. We live more simply, are less needful of the world’s false and empty promises. We live more simply and  joyfully in the presence of the Lord, in the power of his Word and Sacraments, in the joy of knowing him, and his Body the Church.

And thus, for those who might scoff or be cynical of the Lord’s promise of living waters wherein we will never thirst again, there comes a double call to be converted, and to embark on a life-long conversation with the Lord.

It works if you work it, so work it because you’re worth it! Of this, I am a witness. I am 53 years old, but I have only been serious about my spiritual life for the last 30 of those 53 years. Prior to that time I lived frivolously and the details are both unedifying and unnecessary. But 30 years ago I entered the seminary began to pray an hour  every day, to read Scripture every day, to attend Mass every day, and confession once a week. The result? My life has become simpler, and richer. Less do the passing of obsessions of this world interest me. The Lord is my strength and my song. Living Waters are in fact welling up within me, I am increasingly satisfied only with God and the things of God yes, the Lord’s word is true

TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: msgrcharlespope

1 posted on 03/24/2014 1:53:14 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: Biggirl; ConorMacNessa; Heart-Rest; Mercat; Mrs. Don-o; Nervous Tick; Rich21IE; RoadGumby; ...

Msgr Pope ping

2 posted on 03/24/2014 1:53:40 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting!

Msgr. Pope is a breath of fresh air. His homilies are very edifying.

I went to church yesterday (Sunday) and the woman deacon spoke on this passage. She claimed the woman at the well was flirting with the Lord Jesus! Can you imagine?

I tell you, if Msgr. Pope was the priest in my town, I’d be a Catholic in a heartbeat.

3 posted on 03/24/2014 2:39:24 AM PDT by Jack023
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To: markomalley

I love this Gospel story. And I love Msgr Pope. Our priest yesterday pointed out one of element that I had never thought of - in a desert, people go to the well in the morning and in the evening, not at noon. Why did she go then? Was she avoiding someone? Did the villagers deny her access at the more pleasant times of the day? I also focused on the fact that Jesus was thirsty and asked her for water. Why? One of Blessed Mother Teresa’s teachings was that Jesus thirsts for our love, our souls.

4 posted on 03/24/2014 4:55:24 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: markomalley


5 posted on 03/24/2014 6:06:11 AM PDT by GirlShortstop (Every person has a duty to seek and serve the truth. Abp Charles J. Chaput, OFMCap)
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To: Mercat

This is one of the questions that I posed in yesterday’s thread.

She went at noon because she was an outcast among the women who would get water in the early morning.

They didn’t want her with them, and she didn’t want to be ignored by them.

6 posted on 03/24/2014 7:43:36 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Jack023

The apostle John would never write about such a thing. Obviously this so-called minister does not know the layers of John’s scripture.

7 posted on 03/24/2014 7:44:55 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Jack023
Msgr. Pope is a breath of fresh air. His homilies are very edifying.

I went to church yesterday (Sunday) and the woman deacon spoke on this passage. She claimed the woman at the well was flirting with the Lord Jesus! Can you imagine?

I tell you, if Msgr. Pope was the priest in my town, I’d be a Catholic in a heartbeat.

Yes they are very edifying especially this one. I was struck by this: "And in this [Jesus] is helping her and us to clarify that it is simply a fact that our desires are infinite and unlimited. Therefore, a finite in limited world cannot satisfy us."

Is this your experience? Do you have infinite desire? I certainly do. It's both revolutionary and humbling to realize this for me. Nothing I can do, much less all the world can do, can ever satisfy me completely. "What profit is it to gain the whole world but loose our soul?"

For this reason, it is important to remember that, as great a man as Msgr Pope is, he isn't Christ, and thus, can not satisfy as only He can. Thus, I encourage you to not consider Catholicism because of Msgr Pope (or any man) but consider it for the summit and source of our Faith, who is Christ, present in the Eucharist.

Consider going to a local parish and being in the presence of Him in the Blessed Sacrament. (You can find such an opportunity by going to and searching for parishes that offer either scheduled adoration or perpetual adoration of the Sacrament in your area)

He is waiting for you there, just as He waits for all, "by the well" so to speak, to use Msgr Pope's illustration! He's waiting for YOU, Jack023. You needn't do anything but approach such an experience with an open desire for truth, a "child-like faith", to meet Him in this way. You will encounter Him in the Blessed Sacrament if you go with only objectivity, and no criticism in your heart. He is an objective fact in reality waiting to be encountered in every consecrated Host.

This is a reason, a reason that will sustain, to become a Catholic. A desire for Him, encountered in the Blessed Sacrament and in His Body, the Church. I strongly encourage you to do this, and then the lack of wonderful homilies in our Church won't seem quite as bad anymore. (And there is such a lack, please keep our priests in your prayers). Fortunately it's not homilies that ultimately have sustained the Church for 2,000 years! No work of man could have done that!

You don't have to take my word for anything I just wrote. You can come, and see for yourself.

I'll pray for you, please do the same for me.

8 posted on 03/24/2014 8:02:28 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; ...


9 posted on 03/24/2014 9:45:10 AM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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