Word Alive By Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD – March 15, 2020 3rd Sunday of Lent / Cycle A
Many of our older generations might still remember the Hollywood “sex goddess” Marilyn Monroe of the 1950s? Monroe had everything—beauty, fame, money—but despite all this, deep down she was unhappy and her life empty. One morning she was found dead in her room. She had committed suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.
Then there was the rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley who went on to make dozens of Gold Records, send millions of hysterical fans into ululations of delight, and gross US$1 billion in earnings—before he died at the young age of 42, in August 1977. He died of an excess of drugs and junk food.
Modern psychiatry’s files are loaded with cases of persons who have managed to acquire everything they thought they needed to make them happy, except the peace of soul.
In this Third Sunday of Lent, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman coming to the well to draw water. Jesus asks her for water to drink.
Then he went on, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you ‘Give me to drink,” he would have given you living water” (Jn 4,10).
Jesus added, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst” (Jn 4,13).
Jesus was talking about the water of the Spirit that quenches human thirst that lasts to eternal life with God. Celebrities, like Marylene Monroe and Elvis Presley, tried looking for that water but unfortunately, could not find it in worldly pleasures, fame, wealth, sex, and drugs.
Talking of Elvis Presley, did you know that his partner in many record-breaking movies was an attractive, talented actress, Dolores Hart, who turned her back on Hollywood for a Higher Calling? She now lives in solitude at the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in rural Connecticut, USA away from the glitter of the silver screen, where she spends her cloistered life in prayer and contemplation.
I have known of certain professionals who, because they felt empty deep down, searching for something missing in their lives, opted to enter the religious life. One was a doctor, a gynecologist, who became a priest. “Perhaps you did it,” I kidded him, “because you ran out of clients since you’re male!” He laughed, “No, it’s because I had always wanted to become a priest. It was my parents who ‘pushed’ me to become a doctor.”
Drinking of God’s “living water” does not mean only embracing the religious life or joining a Life in the Spirit Seminar. It can mean drinking the water of his Word in the Scriptures; the water of his Spirit in the sacraments, the water of his presence in prayer; the water of his joy in serving people, especially the “least of Christ’s brethren.”
Material and physical needs do not satisfy us. Only God can. And this is what St. Augustine discovered after a long and torturous search for true satisfaction and fulfillment, saying, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
COVID-19 THOUGHTS. With Coronavirus epidemic sweeping Metro Manila, scared people resort to panic buying. But the poor people can only PANIC but cannot buy.
Similarly, the rich frenetically do shopping but the poor can only window shop!
There are heartless people who take advantage of the Covid-19 epidemic. They jack up the prices of vital medical items like face masks and alcohol; others hoard them then sell at a higher price to make instant “killing.”
These human vultures capitalize on the sufferings of their poor fellowmen. This is a grave sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. The Lord says, “Vengeance is mine.”