The story is told about a man who put up a funeral business and named it “Joel’s Funeral Home.” Business was good, so he ventured into the mineral water business, which failed. Why? Because he used the name: “Joel’s Funeral Water!”
In today’s Gospel (Jn. 4, 5-42), we learn of the Samaritan woman who asked Jesus to give her the living water so she will not be thirsty again. Water is good, but it depends on what water we are drinking. Let us drink from the spring of water that leads us to eternal life.
I just came from a pilgrimage in the Holy Land where water is scarce and precious. It is amazing how the Israelis have been able to convert their desert land into an agricultural exporting country through much research and diligence. If only we had such diligence in our search for the living water so necessary for our souls!
Our thirst for worldly wealth and fame can never be satisfied. It’s like sea water: The more we drink it, the more we get thirsty. Only the living water can truly satisfy our thirst.
One thing worth emulating from the Israelis is their observance of the Sabbath. They keep the Sabbath holy from Friday evening until Saturday evening for God and for family. How do we spend our Sundays? Do we really set aside this day for the Lord and for our family, or just for recreation and entertainment to please our bodies?
There are two significant bodies of water in the Holy Land—the Lake Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Lake Galilee is alive, with so many varieties of fish and marine life, while the Dead Sea is truly dead, with no living organisms whatsoever. Why? That’s because in the Lake Galilee, water enters and exits, while in the Dead Sea, water enters and there is no exit. So, too, for us. If we just receive and do not give, we become spiritually dead.
March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph, the most chaste spouse of the Blessed Mother. Because he drew his strength from the living water, he was able to courageously and humbly follow the will of God and, thus, do his role in God’s plan of salvation. Let us ask his powerful intercession that we, too, will become more open, more docile, and more obedient to the stirrings of the Divine:
“Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son, all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, so that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name, and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. Amen.”
Did you know that the immortal song, “Christmas in Our Hearts,” composed by Joe Mari Chan, was originally a song about water titled “Ang Tubig ay Buhay”? He retained the melody, and put in Christmas lyrics, and the rest is history. That’s the genius and creativity of a songwriter—the ability to adjust and to be open to changes. From water to living water that quenches our spiritual thirst, especially at Christmas. Come to think of it, it should be played the whole year round, because every day is Christmas.
“Water under the bridge.” As we journey through life, may we learn to let go and let God, and move on. The past is past, and the past is in God’s hands, and we leave it in His mercy. The future is yet to come, and that, too, we leave in His providence and love.
Prayer is our “Bridge over Troubled Water.” Let us continue to surrender to God, in prayer, everything and everyone that comes our way, and may we all continue to be the bridges and instruments of peace and love in our troubled and trying times.
Think about this: “Fast on anger, feast on patience; fast on anxiety, feast on hope; fast on bitterness, feast on forgiveness.”
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, only You can quench the longings and desires of our hearts. Amen.