(Slowly walks around the church, looking at people and touching people’s shoulders. Then sits down in the sanctuary step and looks at people.)
“Give me a drink.”
Yes, after a long journey Jesus is thirsty. However long your life’s journey has been, no matter how many or how few birthdays you have celebrated, from the moment of your conception, Jesus has been thirsty for you and me.
In his thirst, in his longing for us, Jesus asks each and every one of us personally, “Give me a drink.”
This young intruder crosses the barrier of separation many centuries old to reach out to this lone woman, to this alone woman, who comes to the well at the heat of noon when no one else would be there.
What was she avoiding?
What are we avoiding?
Immediately she puts up barriers. She offers excuses. She keeps blocking Jesus’ attempts to speak to her heart.
What barriers do we put up? How do we keep blocking and diverting attention away from Jesus’ unrelenting thirst for us?
Jesus keeps bringing the woman back to the heart of the matter.
Jesus keeps delving deeper, inviting the woman to lovingly scrutinize her life and her deepest desires in order to exorcise the interior demons that make her come to the well at noon: her sin; her failure relationships; her broken heart; her battered self-worth; her hiding; her self-proclaimed lies; her deep inner hurt.
“If only you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
For what are you thirsting? Oh, not on the surface, but at your deepest core, that place where dwells your deepest, purest and most profound desires?
It is there that Jesus speaks, “Give me a drink,” because Jesus longs to quench and fulfill those deepest desires with himself, this “life-giving water” of his love, his very self.
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
“Go call your husband and come back.”
Further scrutiny occurs. Jesus speaks the tough truth. Why?
In order to have her and our thirst quenched, we must be totally honest and transparent. We must be willing to look at our brokenness and our sin which separates us from God and from one another. It is only in admitting and confessing our sin that Jesus can heal us by speaking truth into our lives. This can be a painful process.
(Takes the bucket and goes to the baptismal font. Draws water to bring it back to the sanctuary.)
“Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?”
Could this shamefaced, isolated and prodigal woman be you and me?
Could this Eucharist today, this Lenten journey of 2019 break open our hearts and break down the barriers that keep us from Jesus and his thirsting for us so that we might be transformed into disciples, into evangelists, into inviters to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ in his Church?
Can this Rite of Scrutiny and Exorcism which we perform for our Elect, help us to reclaim our baptismal dignity as beloved sons and daughters of the Father and disciples of his Son?
Can we surrender enough, be truthful enough to allow God’s loving us first as St. Paul says in our second reading, in order to realize that “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly.”
It was from the cross, that Jesus cried, “I thirst.”
At the well of our heart, Jesus asks, “Give me a drink.”
What will be our response?