Today’s Gospel passage immediately follows the passage about Living Water. Jesus is still at the feast of Tabernacles.
The feast of Tabernacles lasted eight days. Each of the first seven mornings, a procession went down to the fountain of Gihon that supplies the pool of Siloam. There, they drew a pitcher and then processed to the Temple and to the altar. This observance concluded with the priest pouring the water into a funnel from the altar from which the water then poured out on the ground.
After the last of these processions, Jesus invites others to come to him for spiritual drink. He announced that he was the living water. Anyone who believes will have rivers of living water flow from within them.
This truth caused a division among the people and fueled opposition from the authorities. Some, who were just in the initial stages of accepting Jesus’ invitation, saw him as the Prophet. Not just a prophet, but the Prophet promised by Moses (see Deuteronomy 18:15). Others were closer to the truth. They recognized Jesus as the Messiah. But still others insisted that the Messiah had to come from Bethlehem and the house of David (see Jeremiah 23:5 and Micah 5:2). And the authorities wanted the guards to arrest him.
It is not that Jesus wants division. But truth itself causes a division between those who believe and those who resist. Jesus has come to gather all peoples. But some will refuse his invitation. Others will accept it only half-heartedly.
The more that we accept Jesus’ invitation to drink this living water, the closer that we draw to him. We come to know the truth ever more because we come to know him who is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6).
Do we thirst for this living water? In this time of separation from the sacraments, are we seeking it with all our heart through our prayer? Do we desire to have this living water flow from us also for the benefit of others?