VATICAN CITY, (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is inviting the faithful to pause a moment in silence this Lent to listen to God speaking to their hearts.
The Pope reflected today on the Gospel story of the Samaritan women, whom Jesus spoke to at Jacob’s well, before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
“The woman goes every day to get water from an ancient well put there by the patriarch Jacob, and that day Jesus was sitting there, ‘tired from the journey,'” the Pontiff explained.
“Jesus’ weariness, sign of his true humanity, can be seen as a prelude to the passion, with which he brought the work of our redemption to completion,” he said.
The Holy Father that Christ was also thirsty, and that the “theme of ‘thirst’ emerges in particular in the meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well.”
“This thirst, like the weariness, has a physical basis,” the Pontiff explained. “But Jesus, as Augustine continues, ‘had thirst of the woman’s faith,’ as he has for the faith of all of us.
“God the Father sent him to quench our thirst for eternal life, giving us his love, but asks our faith for bestowing this gift. Love’s omnipotence always respects man’s freedom; it knocks at his heart and awaits his answer with patience.”
Benedict XVI noted in particular the prominence of water in the encounter between Christ and the Samaritan woman: “It clearly alludes to the sacrament of baptism, the source of new life through faith in the grace of God.”
“This water represents the Holy Spirit,” he explained, “the ‘gift’ par excellence that Jesus has come to bring us from God the Father. Whoever is reborn by the water of the Holy Spirit, that is, baptism, enters into a real relation with God, a filial relation, and can worship ‘in spirit and truth,’ as Jesus discloses to the Samaritan woman.
“Thanks to the encounter with Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, man’s faith comes to its fulfillment, as an answer to God’s revelation.”
“Each one of us can identify ourselves with the Samaritan woman,” the Holy Father affirmed. “Jesus awaits us, especially during this season of Lent, to speak to our hearts, to my heart.
“Let us pause a moment in silence, in our room, or in a church, or in a place apart. Let us listen to the voice that says: ‘If you knew the gift of God.'”