Saturday, March 22, 2014
Third Sunday of Lent
March 23, 2014
Third Sunday of Lent
Ex 17: 3-7 / Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9/ Rom 5: 1-2, 5-8/ Jn 4: 5-42 or Jn 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42
First Reading: Ex 17: 3-7
But the people thirsted for water there and grumbled against Moses, "Why did you make us leave Egypt to have us die of thirst with our children and our cattle?" So Moses cried to Yahweh, "What shall I do with the people? They are almost ready to stone me!" Yahweh said to Moses, "Go ahead of the people and take with you the elders of Israel. Take with you the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you on the rock at Horeb. You will strike the rock and water will flow from it and the people will drink." Moses did this in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah because of the complaints of the Israelites, who tested Yahweh saying, "Is Yahweh with us or not?"
Second Reading: Rom 5:1-2, 5-8
By faith we have received true righteousness, and we are at peace with God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Through him we obtain this favor in which we remain and we even boast to expect the Glory of God. Hope does not disappoint us because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, pouring into our hearts the love of God. Consider, moreover, the time that Christ died for us: when we were still helpless and unable to do anything. Few would accept to die for an upright person; although, for a very good person, perhaps someone would dare to die. But see how God manifested his love for us: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us
Gospel: Jn 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42
Jesus came to a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well is there. Tired from his journey, Jesus sat down by the well; it was about noon. Now a Samaritan woman came to draw water and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." His disciples had just gone into town to buy some food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan and a woman, for a drink?" (For Jews, in fact, have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus replied, "If you only knew the Gift of God! If you knew who it is that asks you for a drink, you yourself would have asked me and I would have given you living water." The woman answered, "Sir, you have no bucket and this well is deep; where is your living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well after he drank from it himself, together with his sons and his cattle?" Jesus said to her, "Those who drink of this water will be thirsty again; but those who drink of the water that I shall give will never be thirsty; for the water that I shall give will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Give me this water that I may never be thirsty and never have to come here to draw water. I see you are a prophet; tell me this: Our fathers used to come to this mountain to worship God; but you Jews, do you not claim that Jerusalem is the only place to worship God?" Jesus said to her, "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you shall worship the Father, but that will not be on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship without knowledge, while we Jews worship with knowledge, for salvation comes from the Jews. But the hour is coming and is even now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for that is the kind of worshippers the Father wants. God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah, that is the Christ, is coming; when he comes, he will tell us everything." And Jesus said, "I who am talking to you, I am he." In that town many Samaritans believed in him when they heard the woman who declared, "He told me everything I did." So, when they came to him, they asked him to stay with them and Jesus stayed there two days. After that many more believed because of his own words, and they said to the woman, "We no longer believe because of what you told us; for we have heard for ourselves and we know that this is the Savior of the world."
When Jesus approached the Samaritan woman at the well he broke several taboos. It was not customary even for a husband to speak to his wife in public, but Jesus not only spoke to but discussed with a woman a theological matter. As a Jew he asked to drink from a Samaritan's ritually unclean bucket of water. Finally he did not avoid her even if he knew she had lived with five men in the past. Jesus is willing to break traditions in order to bring the Good News to everyone. He does it in such gentle and kind ways: he asks for a glass of water. She does not know how to handle that question but Jesus promises he can provide water that will quench anyone's thirst and tells her about the water of life. When the Samaritan woman was talking to Jesus, she knew she was talking to a holy man. We know she was talking to God. He knows everything about us. Yet he did not condemn or demean her, but gently guided her and led her to the source of life. She then went and told the rest of the community about this man who would give the water of life.
If we look at the example of Pope Francis, we realize how often he breaks many past traditions. He shuns the papal residence and opts for the simple communal room. He makes it a point to be with the people that he has been appointed to serve - the gardeners, the guards and staff at the Vatican who come to celebrate Mass with him.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a wonderful gift that allows us to be reconciled to God. It first asks us to ask the Lord to reconcile ourselves with those that we have offended. But more importantly, it is a moment of turning away from sin and choosing God. There is also an element of forgiving of oneself in the sacrament of reconciliation, a joyful moment where we can experience God's mercy and compassionate love.
When we come to think of it, Jesus comes to search each of us and offers us the water of life. He knows each of us by name and he has better records of our past than anyone of us would like to imagine. But that is not what the Lord is interested in. He asks us to transform our lives and to proclaim the Good News as the Samaritan woman did. The Gospel points out that the Samaritan woman spread the news to the people of the village and many of the people came to believe Jesus. The joyful presence of the Lord is contagious which can translate to bringing others to the God. A life well lived and spent for others can be a powerful invitation to come to God. So we pray that we have more people like the Samaritan woman who will listen to the word of God and invite others to the Lord.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
... for world peace and reconciliation.
…for the special intentions
* Leah Ang
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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