There are two sets of readings today, one the regular and the other for the Christian Initiation.  Time, water and caring are the running themes when both these are taken together. On the mountain the encounter of Moses with God in the burning bush was the intervention of God in time to take care of his people who were in trouble. In the Gospel, the Master is extending the time of the fig tree in order that it may produce fruit.   Again it is the caring God.

In the Christian initiation portion, God provides water in the wilderness, which flowed from the rock.  Both the rock and the flowing water were symbolic of the Living Rock that Jesus is, and from Jesus the Church.

Jesus offers living water to the Samaritan woman. She was given that day the gift of conversion. Her acceptance of Jesus was the consequence of this gift. Jesus intentionally came in search of her and intentionally sends her to her people and makes her the first Apostle to be sent to proclaim the Good News that Jesus was. Her meeting with Jesus was an event of conversion and transformation, which in turn made her a missionary, witnessing to what she saw in Jesus and through Jesus. She confessed to her people, the Samaritans, the transformation that happened to herself.

St. Paul is referring to the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Through this Spirit God makes us fountains of living water just as Jesus transformed the Samaritan woman into a fountain of living water. Yes, our call is to be fountains of the Living Water, that is, we become the depository of the Holy Spirit and the emissaries of God.  In and through the working of this Spirit, at the very moment of our baptism we are invited and commissioned to be Apostles and witnesses to Jesus.

The meeting of Jesus with the Samaritan woman is significant for those initiated to Christianity. This incident shows the caring of God for the stray, the wandering, the lost and the one outside the flock, the Gentiles. This is also an eye opener for us to incorporate everyone in the world into our family.

Fr. George