In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen!
If I give each of you a $100, would you want it? What about $1000? I’m sure most of us would say yes, but still others would say why not give us more? If we care about our economy and our well-being, we should open businesses and we should allow kids to go back to in classroom studies, even with the pandemic. Some would say yes, but still others will insist on it not being safe regardless of the economic and psychological repercussions. The only way to truly reopen and return to life will be when we have a vaccine. Many people spoke of the need to get a vaccine out and available. Now that it is available, there are many who say they don’t want it because it hasn’t been tested enough or it’s unsafe. Amazon.com ships whatever you purchase within a few days. For those who pay for Amazon Prime, they receive items within 2-days or sometimes even 1-day. And yet, during the pandemic when Amazon announced there might be a delay in deliveries, immediately people began complaining about how dissatisfied they were, that they had to wait a bit longer for someone to deliver what they wanted to their front door. Every few month’s, new updates come out for computers, cellphones, home appliances, and much more. Yet, despite buying what we need we still want more because my dear brothers and sisters, we do not know what brings us true satisfaction.
What is it that we want that will make us feel safe, fulfilled, at peace and content? Money, possessions, science and knowledge, convenience? If it is in the material things only, that will pass. If it is in science only, that may evolve and change. If it’s our stomach only, that will empty again. Yes, it is normal that each of us wants to be satisfied and fulfilled, yet, each one of us misunderstands where that true fulfillment comes from. We as a society define our worth with quantity and use arbitrary measurements to find fulfillment. This is not necessarily bad however, it can lead to great shortcomings and misunderstandings of what truly give our life worth, fulfillment, healing and peace.
In the Gospel today we read, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, ‘If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” (v. 37-38) What stands out from the words of Christ? When we pay close attention to exactly what He says, what seems strange?
Imagine for a moment that this cup is us. We want to fill it up, correct? And so we get water, juice or whatever it may be to fill it, just as we would fill our lives with materials, education, family, beliefs, work, health, etc. We fill it with everything we believe will satisfy our thirst, our needs. We fill it until it begins to overflow. Yet, listen closely to the words of Christ – “He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water”.
My dear brothers and sisters, we are gathered in Church praying together or we are watching at home because, whether we accept it or not, we are empty and want to be filled. As children of God we hear over and over again that we must come to God, we must believe in Christ, who is our healer, our protector, our judge, the one who will give us true fulfillment. Just as we read in last weeks Gospel, Christ teaching us, “I am the living bread.” Again today, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink.” (v.37) Yet, Christ doesn’t stop here by saying come to me only. Buthe continues to say that true fulfillment, truly coming to God is not limited or only defined when we are being filled but when “out of [us]” comes living water.
In other words my dearly beloved, what brings true fulfillment and healing is not what we have; it’s not what we can find or purchase; it’s not what we get, but rather, what we give through our faith to others – when we do the work of God. If we examine all the teachings of Christ from the manger to His glorious Ascension, Christ is always calling us in in order to send us back out to preach, to teach, to love, forgive, to have compassion. That is why in St. Paul’s letter today we read about how Titus is charged with finding leaders in the community. Leaders who will not sit on chairs and receive praise but who will “able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.” (v.9) Leaders who give from them rather than only take from others.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, let us strive to change our understanding of what it means to be satisfied. Let us strive not for more but to do more. For the living water that must pour from our heart is the Holy Spirit and it’s gifts – to give hope, to lift up, to love and tend to, to forgive, to come to God and take Christ to others, to do the work of God, will give us true satisfaction. Only this way, will we be truly fulfilled, healed, satisfied and fed. For Christ never says do unto others who have done unto you – rather, when we thirst we come to Him and when we truly come to God to be fulfilled and healed, we do likewise to others. We become the healers and source from which others will also come to God. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, may we always seek our Heavenly Father’s will first and through Christ bring His light into this world, Amen!