The Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Living Water

'Christ and the Samaritan woman at the well', by Angelica Kauffman, 1796; Neue Pinakothek museum, Munich, Germany; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

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 nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” – John 4:10-15 (RSVCE)

Jesus takes no notice of the woman’s wonder, and promises that if she asks of Him, He will give her living water that will spring up to life everlasting, and will make it unnecessary for her to visit the well.

“If thou didst know the gift of God!” This was the unfulfilled condition which would be the means of obtaining that living water which satisfies all our needs. If only we recognized the unsearchable value of the gifts of God! If only we appreciated the priceless treasure of His love! If only we knew how eager He is to give us forgiveness, peace, joy, happiness in this life and in the life to come! If only we know all this, how different our prayers would be, how frequent, how fervent, how persevering! O God, help me to appreciate better the value of Thy gifts.

What is the living water which Jesus promises to all who ask for it! It is the gift of the Holy Spirit, that He pours into the hearts of all those who love Him. This gift, like water, cleanses them from all their sins, it refreshes and strengthens them, it nourishes in their souls all the virtues which bud, and blossom, and flourish under the influence of the Holy Spirit in dwelling in the soul. Give to me, O Lord, this living water!

This living water includes in itself all spiritual delights. It is that of which our Lord promises that He will give us to drink in Heaven freely, and in a measure so abundant as to satisfy all our desires, not drop by drop, as here on earth. It is this living water the sweetness of which this poor Samaritan could not understand, as none can who are still attached to earthly and sinful pleasures.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ. “The Living Water”. The Ministry of Jesus Christ: Short Meditations on the Public Life of Our Lord, 1892. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 April 2019. Web. 1 August 2021. <>