“Drink” is such a rich word, but its richness can only be measured by those ready to benefit from it. We start with “drink” as something that quenches the thirst and nourishes: water, fruit or vegetable juices—a necessity. Then we have other drinks that may not be necessary to survival but for which we are willing to pay more because they give us refreshment, pleasure, and possibly a higher social standing: soft drinks and alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, brandy, champagne, etc. In fact, some of the hard liquors are so precious that they are very much appreciated as gifts. Think about that, giving drinks as a gift!
For the Samaritan woman in today’s gospel, “drink” is simply—water. But when Jesus came into her life, her eyes were opened to the thirst she never knew she had before—a thirst that only the Lord could quench, not by the water at Jacob’s well, nor by the five “husbands” she has had. In her amazement and gratitude, she announced to everyone that the Messiah was already in their midst. When we discover the “living water” and choose to quench our thirst with it, we are given the grace to extend the blessing to others, just like the Samaritan woman.
This Lent we come to hear again of Jesus’ words from the cross: “I thirst.” His thirst is for love, and we quench it by loving the Lord and others as He would want us to. “I thirst” is found in every altar of a missionary house of St. Teresa of Calcutta—it is the Sisters’ reminder that the work they do for the abandoned is sweet despite all odds because it is their offering of love for the Crucified One. When He asks us at work, “Give me a drink”, what is our response?