3rd Sunday of Lent – 2017

3rd Sunday of Lent – 2017

3LA.  Exodus 17:3-7.  The Lord said, “Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink.”  The Church gives us this reading as a preface, prelude to the gospel of ‘living water’.  God provides us with the water that we need to quench our thirst, but what is it we decide to thirst for: what this world tells us we must thirst for or the thirst for eternal purpose and meaning, i.e. the eternal love that God has for us.  The people whom God led out of servitude to the Egyptians did not know much more than the material world.  During their forty years in the desert God wanted them to come to know much more than this physical world, that they ought to choose belong to something greater than to a day to day material world.

John 4:5-42.  “Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.  It was about noon.” His exhaustion shows that he was truly human, as well as divine.  “A woman of Samaria came to draw water.  Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” She was quite surprised because a Jew of Jerusalem Judaism would never address a woman of the Samaritan Jewish faith community, nor would a man of that middle-Eastern world ever speak to a woman who was not a part of his extended family.  The Holy Spirit was moving Jesus to take advantage of this opportunity to bring this woman to faith in the Messiah.  Jesus answered her question, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would asked him and he would have given you living water.”  She is lost as to his answer and questions him, “Where can you get this living water?”  He responds, “whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The spiritual water Jesus is promising is the grace that leads to the eternal life of heaven but she is still thinking of the physical water she needs to live from day to day.  Jesus reveals his messianic power to her when he reveals his divine capacity to know her past and so she runs off to the village to tell of the one who seems to her to be the Messiah.  Also,Jesus reveals to her, and to us all, that he has not come to establish a new Judaic sect but an entirely new religion when he says, “the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem,” but when “true worshipers (of the one true God) will worship the Father in Spirit and truth.” “God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” Spirit is the God who is infinitely greater than this world of physical things that will eventually pass away.  Truth speaks of the reality that God is infinitely greater than anything we humans can imagine because our thinking is hemmed in by the world we live in, and even by this spectacular God-created universe, that is itself so infinitesimal in relation to the God who is infinitely greater and more awesome than anything he has created.

After the disciples urge him to eat, “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.’” Jesus was hungry to do what the Father wanted him to do, bring all people of good will to heaven, to worship the God who loves us all so dearly.  Jesus says, “I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done this work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work.” Jesus sent them (& sends us) to bring people to God in heaven.

The Samaritans there say to the woman, “We have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.” In spite of her sinfulness but because of her simplicity and sincerity, she brought many to Christ.

Romans 5:1-2, 5-8.  “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Peace is that unity with God that gives a sense of security for eternity and a fullness of life that assures us we have the true source of inexhaustible goodness that is always available to us.  “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” The love of God, a share in the divine life of God has been the grace poured out into us through the Holy Spirit.  “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”  God’s motivation for his love was not that we had done anything to deserve his love but that his nature is love so that out of who he is he loved in spite of the fact that we did not deserve it.