Never in my life has the violence in the Gospel of John seemed so recognizable. Now it corresponds to the daily news: a man fears going out in public in Jerusalem, as Jesus did on that festival of booths. This simple act can result in either glory or destruction, depending on whether “the street” murmurs disapproval or approbation. In a part of the world where religious and political identities are matters of life or death, the world of the gospel, so familiar and yet so distant, has never seemed more immediate. When Jesus cries out about water and belief, it is as though he stands caught in Jerusalem’s crosscurrents, his life at risk. Some of his listeners plot to get him and eventually they do, at least for a time. Nevertheless, there he stands, pure of heart and brave, prophetically teaching. “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. . . .