Friends, today we read the magnificent story from John’s Gospel about the woman at the well. The image of thirst is used throughout the Bible to speak of the human longing for God.
At the height of the heat of the day, Jesus asks a Samaritan woman for a drink of water. We are on very holy ground for the whole of salvation is summed up here: our thirst for God meets God’s even more dramatic thirst for us. Augustine picked up on this in his commentary on the passage: “Jesus was thirsty for the woman’s faith.”
At first, of course, the woman is put off. How could this Jewish man be asking me for a drink? Translate this into spiritual language: how could almighty God be thirsty for my faith and my attention?
Jesus’ answer is magnificent: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.” We are built for union with God, and therefore we thirst for God with an infinite desire. What Jesus offers her is the life of grace, the divine life, God’s own self. That’s the only energy that can ever satisfy our infinite longing.