The man of liquid society at the well of living water with the Samaritan woman

Father Gabriele

Homiletics of the Fathers of The Island of Patmos


“Water is condescending, mobile, transparent, tasteless. One easily gets the impression that, compared to the rest of reality, it is somehow otherworldly".


Gabriele Giordano M. Scardocci, o.p.


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Dear Readers of The Island of Patmos,

who plays sports such as football, the basket or the run, especially in summer, knows how refreshing a glass of water is at the end of a sporting activity. It almost has a profound meaning that goes beyond the somatic aspect. As the scientist Philip Ball writes:

“Water is condescending, mobile, transparent, tasteless. One easily gets the impression that, compared to the rest of reality, it is somehow otherworldly".



The long song the today's gospel it's an invitation. It is a return to the sources, to the water of our origins: therefore to rediscover our baptismal vocation, because from that moment we started walking in the path of holiness and accepting our vocation. Therefore, returning to remember baptism is returning to the sources of our faith and quenching our thirst with the water of grace and the Holy Spirit.

At the beginning of the dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, it is the Lord who asks a precise question: “Give me a drink.” Jesus is thirsty because he is in a barren desert area. It's very hot and it's near a well. So try to make friends with the Samaritan woman, asking for practical help. In fact, offer some water, for the culture of the time, it was really a gesture of closeness and also that allowed to generate a certain companionship.

This gesture surpasses the Samaritan woman: Jesus is also close to us. The Lord asks all of us to offer him water, Also today, especially every time we pray and enter into communion with him in the Eucharist. He thirsts for our presence, our friendship and our faith. He says to us give me a drink, to indicate that he wants to relate and have an intimacy with us.

Returning to the letter of the text, we see that the exchange between the two begins. A few sentences later it is He who offers the water to the woman:

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again; but who will drink of the water that I will give them, he will never be thirsty again. On the contrary, the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life".

The Samaritan woman must not have understood this sentence well. They are strong words and very intense. After all, Jesus is telling her not to draw only on water drawn from the well that quenches the thirst of the body and the dry throat, but to drink from a source that also quenches the soul and spirit. This is the water of faith and grace.

We too have been quenched by this water. Effectively, if we think about it, our life of faith began with a little’ of water, a white robe and a candle of light. On the day of our baptism, the material element used to administer the Sacrament of the beginning of the life of faith is precisely water. This water accompanies the words of the priest «I baptize you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". Baptismal water is also a sign of a great event: received the divine grace received which has entered into us by uniting itself to our life and to our person. And together with God, from that moment to follow, we can do great works of charity and love.

Jesus offers us faith and grace in baptism because we can discover that we are all a great gift to God himself and to the world. For our personal and unique love to become a concrete action of tenderness and compassion towards those who suffer.

We ask the Lord to still feel that baptismal newness in our lives, to rediscover ourselves as children in soul and spirit, to quench our time with the presence of God and to irrigate the desert of a contemporary world afflicted by an increasingly liquid culture with wells of hope.


Santa Maria Novella in Florence, 12 March 2023



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