People are looking for an oasis in the Catholic Church from which to slake the thirst left by busyness, indifference, and consumerism, Pope Francis said on Sunday.
The pope’s March 12 Angelus message, delivered from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, focused on the story of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well, specifically his request to her to “Give me a drink.”
“This Sunday,” Pope Francis said to approximately 20,000 people gathered in the square, “the Gospel presents us one of the most beautiful and fascinating encounters Jesus has.”
Jesus’ request for water to the Samaritan woman “is an image of God’s abasement,” he said. “God abases himself in Jesus, God made himself one of us — he abased himself — [made himself] thirsty like us. He suffers our same thirst.”
Pope Francis said the words of Jesus, “give me a drink,” also teach us about our obligation to help others in need, whether materially or emotionally.
“How many say give me a drink to us — in our family, many at work, many in other places we find ourselves. They thirst for closeness, for attention, for a listening ear. People say it who thirst for the Word of God and need to find an oasis in the Church where they can drink,” he said.
“Give me a drink,” the pope added, “is a cry from our society, where the frenetic pace, the rush to consume, and above all indifference — this culture of indifference — generate aridity and interior emptiness.”
“And — let us not forget this — give me a drink is the cry of many brothers and sisters who lack the water to live, while our common home continues to be polluted and defaced. And it too, exhausted and parched, ‘is thirsty,’” he said.
However, Jesus shares the world’s thirst, Pope Francis emphasized.
“In fact, Jesus’ thirst is not only physical,” he explained. “It expresses the deepest thirsts of our lives, and above all, a thirst for our love. He is more than a beggar; he is [athirst] for our love. And it will emerge at the culminating moment of his passion, on the cross, where, before dying, Jesus will say: ‘I thirst’ (Jn 19:28). That thirst for love that led him to come down, to lower himself, to be one of us.”
“The Lord who asks for a drink is the One who gives a drink. Meeting the Samaritan woman, he speaks to her about the Holy Spirit’s living water. And from the cross, blood and water flow from his pierced side (cf. Jn 19:34),” he continued.
“Thirsty for love, Jesus quenches our thirst with love. And he does with us what he did with the Samaritan woman — he comes to meet us in our daily life, he shares our thirst, he promises us living water that makes eternal life overflow within us.”