As the holy season of Lent continues, in our Eucharistic gathering we hear wonderful scriptural readings. The Gospels of this time contain such richness, that taking one or two thoughts from them, means that there is much that remains for another time. On the third Sunday of Lent, I was present for Eucharist and Morning Prayer – both of which nourished me for the following days. I love hearing of this incident, of the woman who spoke to Jesus with certain candour, holding her own, as it were, in speaking to Jesus, but ready to be changed by the conversation.
The words of the gospel that have come to my mind frequently over more than a week, are found in verse 10 of Chapter 4: If you knew the gift of God ... you would have asked…. These words were echoed in the hymn sung at Morning Prayer which began,
Come to me, all pilgrims thirsty
Drink the water I will give.
If you knew what gift I offer
You would come to me and live.
Last Sunday, we heard of the man born blind, healed by Jesus mixing spittle with the dust of the earth, and putting this clay on his eyes. Again, we have before us a person who was able to hold his own. His response, ‘I have told you already and you would not listen, Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?’ tells us something of the strength of the man.
The gospel of Tuesday told of the man who waited by the Pool of Bethzatha – waited for thirty-eight years for the healing waters to cure his infirmity. Instead the healing words of Jesus cured him.
In these various gospel passages, we are invited to link the gift of water and the power of words.
As I ponder these various scripture readings and related readings about living water, I cannot help but be reminded of the people of Africa who are suffering from drought and even famine. South Sudan is experiencing famine. Somalia and Kenya are experiencing drought.
What has been absolutely astounding is the absence of any significant coverage of this reality on the Australian media. Do we not have enough people like the man born blind and the woman at the well, who are able to stand up and speak out, who are able to speak to others with integrity?
May God’s Spirit urge us to always speak the truth in love and be open to God’s healing action in our lives.
Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs