John 4:5-42

We all thirst after something in life. Many of us think that we will be satisfied when we acquire great amounts of money or property. Many think that once they have bought a house and have their family settled their thirst will be quenched. The simple truth of the matter is that only the Lord can give us the "living water." Only he can satisfy the deep thirst within us. Even if we don't recognize it, our thirst is a thirst for God.

I attempted to get in touch with my thirst for happiness, for peace, for love, for truth, for something quite beyond me, which I know now is God. In my meditation I recited to myself the scripture texts that follow to give expression to my thirst.

The first text is a cry: It says, "O God, You are my God, for You I long. For You my soul is thirsting" (Psalm 62:1) As I repeat each text in the manner of a mantra, allowing it to penetrate my heart, I focus on one word, one phrase within the text that seems to call to me above the others. And I let my mind produce some image or some scene(maybe from my own history) that would symbolize the text my heart recites. The second text is an invitation: " Anyone who is thirsty should come to me and drink." (John 7:37) The third one is a promise: "Whoever drinks the water that I give will never thirst again. The water that I give will be an inner spring that wells up for eternal life." (John 4:13-14) The final text is the fulfillment: "The spirit and the bride say,'Come.' Let everyone who listens answer, 'Come! Let all who are thirsty come. All who want may have the water of life and have it free. Amen. Come Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:17)

How can we fulfill the good news of Jesus to others? Let me illustrate one way. Our Bishops in the United States are very concerned over the aggressive recruiting of some other denominations taking our Catholic Hispanics away. Articles in newspapers and other church literature have literally attacked these church groups. I think it is awful to admit to the success that these denominations are having and it should never be publized as such. Further, the success they have may be precisely because these fallen away Catholics are being invited to these other denominational churches. That personal invitation goes a long way. The women at the well after being thoroughly convinced she had spoken with Jesus the Savior, went to inform her town folks and invited them to meet him. The invitation was extended and the people saw for themselves and could believe by their own faith experience.

Of the 70 million Catholics in the United States, 15 million are inactive. That averages out to 600 Catholics per parish who are not practicing their faith. Statistics show that two-thirds of all Catholics who eventually return to the Church do so because a friend or a relative invited them to return. Statistics also show that the best recruiters of inactive Catholics are Catholics who themselves were once inactive. By our Baptism we are nourished in the spirit of God, we wear Christ, but how many of us know of an inactive Catholic and never thought to invite them back to the church. It may be our lack of initiative that has allowed another church group the passage way of invitation to attend church.

Lastly, it should be clear we go to church because we are sinners and need to receive forgiveness and worship the Lord in order to bring about conversion in our life. You know as I do, when you let muddy water settle it becomes clear! Whatever distraction, hurt or pain your experiencing settle it with the Lord and remain at peace. Then your life which is a vessel of water may become clear so that you may experience the infusion of the Holy Spirit and delight in the inner spring that wells up for you eternal life.

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