Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Water is essential to human life. There have been many examples of controversies over water in the news because of it’s importance to our lives. I think of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Flint, Michigan water crisis, or the critical need for sources of clean water all over the world.
It seems fitting that Jesus speaks of himself as living water that quenches our thirst eternally, because Jesus is the source of spiritual life that we all need. He is the gift of life that God has given for us. What does it means for Jesus to quench our thirst?
To reflect on this verse, is to ask us to examine our conscience. We can use the “examen of conscience” in the Pilgrim’s Guide as a prayerful reflection, or you may use the questions I have asked below as your guide to discern how you see Jesus as the living water that refresh your soul.
The first examen of conscience was initiated as a form of spiritual direction by Ignatius of Loyola. It is a way to reflect on the events of our lives. If you have a copy of the Pilgrim’s Guide, take it out and then take a few minutes for quietly opening to God, silently centering on God’s presence in your life, a time of gratitude and thanksgiving, and a few moments of reflecting on your feelings about your life. Then, pause to consider a few questions about your spiritual life. This is a time to consider the level of thirst you have for Jesus, our living water. You may use the following questions to help you discern the level of your thirst and inspire you to discover ways to find refreshment from God’s abundant living water.
- What are the thirsts that Jesus quenches in you?
- How important is this living water to your very existence, in the same way that ordinary water is for you physically?
- What’s the state of your spiritual refreshment today? Are you thirsty or satisfied? Or somewhere in between?
- What are you thirsty for? What things quench your thirsts?
- Where have you identified living water as a necessity for you in the past?
- Toward what wellspring is God drawing you to today?
- What tools (or practices) do you need to use daily to draw living water ffor your soul?
Sue is NLS Spiritual Director, since 2019 and is a retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA). Active in VdC since 1995, she has served two terms on the Board of the Texas VdC Secretariat, and also on the Texas Gulf Coast VdC Board as Spiritual Director since its start-up in 2017.