3rd Sunday of Lent

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus say to the Samaritan woman: “Give me a drink.”  The thirst of Jesus reminds us of two realities about Our Lord: first, that the Eternal Son of God really did become a human being: He became a man, like us in all things except for sin, and therefore He was able to become physically thirsty.  Second, and more importantly, this passage reminds us that Our Lord thirsts for us.

We have a God Who loves us so much that His desire for our faith and for our love can be described as thirst.  God freely created us out of love and He created us for Himself.  He desires our greatest good and He, Himself, IS our greatest good.  We were made for God: we were made to be completely united with God forever.  God desires us to love Him above all things: Our Lord gave us the command to love God above everything else.  Jesus did not give us this command because God needs our love; we are commanded to love God because that is what we were created to do and if we do not love God first, everything else in our life becomes disordered.

Everything in the world cannot satisfy our hearts if God is not in the center.  Temptation promises happiness, but sin leaves us empty and miserable.  God desires to be first in our hearts because He knows that putting Him first is the only way that we will be truly happy and He created us to know Him, to love Him and to be happy with Him forever.

So much does Our Lord desire us to be with Him forever in Heaven, He came down from Heaven and died on the Cross and gives Himself to us as Food in the Eucharist to strengthen us on our journey towards our heavenly homeland.  Mother Theresa of Calcutta once explained why we should give ourselves to God.  She said: “Why should we give ourselves completely to God?  Because God has given Himself to us.  If God, Who owes us nothing, is ready to give us nothing less than Himself, can we respond with only a small part of ourselves?”  God did not have to create us: He freely created us out of love.  Once human beings sinned and turned their backs on their Creator, God did not have to redeem us.  Out of love for us God sent His Son to die in order to save us.  Out of love for us Jesus Christ shed His blood and laid down His life on the Cross.  Out of love for you and for me He gives Himself—all that He is and all that He has—he gives Himself completely to us as Food in the Eucharist, because He loves us and wants us to love Him in return.  God is love: He loves us with all of His being.  Jesus Christ poured Himself out for us and He asks us to pour ourselves out for love of Him.  He wants your whole heart, not just part of it.  Even if we give ourselves totally to God and put Him first in our hearts and give Him everything we are not left poor.  God is never outdone in generosity.  The more we give ourselves to God the more He gives Himself to us.  We were made to be united with God, but the only way that we can be united to Him is by giving our hearts completely to Him.  The more we give our hearts to Him the more He fills them up with Himself.  Giving ourselves totally to God is the only way of receiving God: God desires that our hearts belong to Him but He will not take them by force.  We have to give our hearts to Him; we have to allow God to reign in our hearts and in our lives.

The more our hearts belong to God the happier we become, because our hearts were made for God and they will not find fulfillment until they rest in God: God is the only thing that can fulfill all our hearts longings.  In order to truly give our hearts to God we have to root sin out of them and surrender our hearts to Him.  Let us open our hearts to all that God wants to do in them today; let us ask Him to give us the grace to surrender our hearts ever more completely to Him.

Lord Jesus Christ, help us to recognize that our hearts deepest desire is You.  Give us the grace to thirst for You, just as You thirst for us.  Help us, Lord, to pour ourselves out for love of You that we may come to possess You ever more fully; may we love You above all things.  Amen.