Thirst. It’s something we’ve all experienced, including Jesus. His thirst is compounded when the least likely person to share her water with a Jew and a man shows up at the least likely time of day.

But there’s a deeper thirst that can’t be quenched by water from Jacob’s well. That thirst only God can satisfy. And when this woman of shame even sips from Jesus’ well, she discovers a fountain of living water springing up inside her.

Yet there’s a still deeper thirst in the heart of Jesus. In every chapel of Saint Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity the words “I Thirst” are inscribed next to the crucifix. The words he spoke to the Samaritan woman and reaffirmed on the cross are now whispered each day to each of us. How different our lives will become when we live in the belief that our return of love really matters to God!

—J. Michael Sparough, SJ is a Retreat Master, writer, and Spiritual Director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House outside Chicago. Click to watch a video of this reflection: