Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.
The water I shall give will become … a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
My Dear Friends in Christ,
Can you hear me now? I often ask this question when I feel like God isn’t listening, when I’m struggling, when I’m challenged, when all the theology in the world can’t convince me that Ours is a benevolent God. Unlike with the phone company, I can’t just move to a different spot with better reception. I’m stuck with a bad connection, not really sure that the problem is on my end due to bad reception. Perhaps, God isn’t listening or doesn’t care…
I think the woman at the well was having similar thoughts and questions. Jesus encounters her at the well as she’s avoiding everybody and anybody. She's got three strikes against her: She's a Samaritan; she's a woman; she's a public sinner. Any of those strikes would have eliminated the possibility of Jesus meeting with her, let alone talking to her and developing a relationship. Perhaps worst of all, she herself believes what the others are saying, seeing no hope for her future, willing to settle. Jesus breaks through every barrier to offer her God’s forgiveness and mercy, offering in such a way that she is engaged and inspired to go share the same with others. On fire with God’s love for her, she runs to those who had judged her and speaks to them so convincingly, that they come looking for Jesus.
Not only was God listening but seeking all the time to build an infrastructure that would allow better reception and a strong signal ever after.
Just a brief note about the coronavirus. There’s a letter in this bulletin from the Archbishop outlining precautions we can or must take, most of which we’re already doing. We’ll also be emptying all fonts (baptismal and holy water). and giving extra attention to heavily trafficked areas, bathrooms, and backs of pews. Even with all these precautions, some of you, especially those older and more susceptible, have asked about the requirement to attend Mass. As the Archbishop indicates in his letter, anyone who feels ill should remain at home, both to get better and to prevent the spread of any disease. That same caution also applies to those who are more susceptible. If you cannot make Mass because of illness or do not feel it is safe, then please stay home. But don’t forget about God; make sure you still set aside some time for the Lord. God wants to hear from you and continues to ask, even if you’re at home: Can you hear Me now?
God listens. God hears us, now and every day.
But, like the woman at the well, we need to put ourselves out there, to engage God by being present in quiet prayer, by being vulnerable, by allowing God to draw us into a deeper relationship. God wants to nourish us, strengthen us, share grace and love with us. This is not simply to make us feel good but also that we might share the same love with others, leading them to encounter Christ, leading them to know the delight and the love God has for us. Can you hear me now? Just Do it.