May the grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
Let's begin with a reading from the Gospel of John:
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:7-15)
The are many ways of praying, all of which help us develop a personal relationship with Jesus. For many of us, formal prayers, like the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Glory be and the Rosary, which we may have learnt as small children, are important. Reading an episode from the Gospels helps us get to know Jesus so much better. For many of us the Eucharist matters so much as our meeting place with Jesus.
St Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in the sixteenth century, taught another form of prayer. It’s the prayer of conversation. We simply remember Jesus is with us , as he promised to be, closrer to us, said St Augustine, than we are to ourselves …
We thank him for being present …. We then talk to him, as a friend speaks with a friend, heart to heart, speaking to him about what’s on our minds … maybe you want to talk to him about your gratitude for children or grandchildren … maybe you want to speak tohim about your worries … perhaps you can speak to him about your loneliness ….
Prayer of this kind helps us realise he is present with us, that he walks with us through the tough times as well as the good times. Prayer like this also reminds us, as Jesus taight the Samaritan woman, that he is “living water”, that he is the one who fulfils all our hopes, our desires and expectations and does so abundantly, in a way that is greater and deeper than we could ever imagine.
Grant, Lord, that your unimaginable love may find in us some love to meet it.May we love the love: the love that always loves us.And let our love’s delight be ever to love you,and what you love,and who you love,just as you love,now and for always, life without end.Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.