Moses experiences a deeper faith in God's Word. The Samaritan woman experiences a new life in Christ. There are two different lives represented in us: the "old life" and the "new life." In the "old life," we live according to the faults and infirmities we have contracted through our human condition and culture. We are like the eagle that drags its old feathers along the ground, unable to take flight. We must let go of the old life, 'burying it in the waters of holy baptism or penance' if we wish to enter into the "new life."
In the "new life," we live according to the love, favors, and will of our Savior: Our new life in Christ is salutary and redeems us. It is living, lively and life giving. It causes us to soar aloft for we are 'alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord'. Our new life is like the eagle also. Having shed its old feathers, the eagle takes on new ones. Grown young again, it flies off in its new powers. Alas, some tender souls newly born out of penitential ashes may have difficulty soaring about in the open air of sacred love. While they are living, animated and winged by love, they may still have habits that their old life left in them. While we remain in this world, we can be bent by either divine love or useless love.
Our growth in divine love is such that an opening always remains for sudden assaults of other objects and apparent goods. We experience hesitancy in turning to God in our frailties so that we may cast ourselves even more into God's merciful arms. Let us have the courage then to discard the old life. Let us grow in confidence to live a new life in Christ Jesus, who desires to deepen our love so that we may eternally love.
It is Jesus who offers us the reviving water of eternal life: an ability for union with God, which is our deepest need. In today's Gospel, he satisfies a thirsting soul. When water is brought to it, how the desert can blossom. The miracle of growth can take place in the parched soul if God lets his Spirit flow over us. All doubt, fear, and sin will yield to the new life of grace.
Our baptism, the sacrament of our washing with the water of Christian faith: was a privileged contact with the grace of Christ. By it, we were planted in the garden of God, with room to settled and draw vital nourishment from the living spring of the Saviour. Yet we need continuing help, to keep spiritually alive and pleasing to God as life goes on. Like the desert-wandering Jews, we suffer from thirst; we grow weary in confronting problems and temptations. Jesus guarantees the "living water" we need. His own Spirit is always at hand to give courage and fidelity.
"To dwell in the house of the Lord": This desire is shared by the mystic tradition in other religions: namely, a yearning to be in the presence of God, and be welcomed by God. All people are called to drink from that fountain that bubbles with life. In times of widespread religious skepticism, the hope of heaven as eternal life after death is often rejected as dreaming. However, we cling to this hope, relying on the word of Jesus. The early Christians drew hope and joy from this prospect of eternal life. They persevered until death for the sake of "the glory that will be revealed in us." We too are asked to live the values of the Gospel, in hope of finally taking our place at the fountain of life.