I received a call from a hospital chaplain asking me to visit a Chinese woman who was suffering from blood and liver cancer. The chaplain told me that she wanted to be baptised and together we did this.
In talking to her, I realised that she did not hunger or thirst physically because the doctors were nurturing her body through an intravenous drip. It was her spirit which was hungry and thirsty. I was reminded of Jesus in the desert when, in his hunger, he was tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread. Jesus replied, ‘It is written “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.” (Matt 4.4)’ Then, when Christ was at the well, how the Samarian woman needed living water to quench her thirst.
As I gave this woman the Holy Communion, a tear fell from her eye and in her weakness she told me she was no longer afraid of death because she knew God was with her.
John’s Gospel Chapter 6 talks about the living bread and water we need for our Spiritual life. Jesus is our resource and when we come to him, we need never feel hunger or thirst no matter what we face in our lives on earth. Through faith, we are able to expand our hearts to share our lives with one another. His love sustains and feeds us with peace and trust.
May the Holy Spirit always fill our hearts with God’s sustaining bread and living water. Amen.
Revd Paul Lau