(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, March 19, 2017)
Third Sunday of Lent
Water! What a precious gift from God.
We cannot go for more than a couple of hours without satisfying our thirst. We would die in a matter of days if we couldn't quench that need. In the first reading today, the Jewish people were desperate for water. Then God gave them water from the rock.
Like the woman at the well in today's Gospel, we try every kind of water under the sun to satisfy our thirst. Later in life, we recognize that it's far more than physical thirst. It's thirst for happiness, satisfaction and peace of mind. Sometimes we "get it right," but often we look for the wrong kind of water, and we look for it in the wrong places. We often spend all kinds of money and waste a lot of time, looking for something to quench our thirsts.
Jesus offers us the spiritual water that really satisfies. He is offering us what He offered the Samaritan woman. Water far superior to anything she had ever tasted or ever dreamed of. Certainly her five husbands (plus her newest lover) hadn't brought her what she was really looking for. We know that she had tried “cheap” love and we presume she was no stranger to intoxication, power and money! This isn't a gentle lady who comes to draw water from the well, but an unsentimental person who yearn for satisfaction. No wonder she is rude to this travel-dusty Jew, whom she is sure will avoid her with downcast eyes. Jews despised Samaritans who worshipped in the wrong church. But Jesus doesn't follow the accepted prejudice!
What a surprise, when Jesus, tired, hungry and thirsty, asks her for a drink of water. He breaks all the rules in speaking to her. Now, He keeps on talking, ignoring her hostility, aware that, in this unexpected encounter, the Father has provided Him with an opportunity for piercing the heart of this sinful woman with His love. Jesus forgets His own needs, and offers this woman “living water”, spiritual grace. Incredible! Even when He confronts her with her sins, she shows humility. When Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah, she drops her bucket and runs back to spread the good news. "I've found the Messiah!" And she had!
Lent is a time for us to let Jesus satisfy our thirst. Am I opened to Him?
Lent is a time to let Him uses me. Am I giving Him my whole?
Lent is a time to give forgiveness. Am I giving it?
Lent is a time to receive forgiveness. Am I seeking, yearning or accepting it?
Like the Samaritan woman, we find real joy and satisfaction in letting the Lord fill us with the grace of the season.
Remember that Jesus' thirst for our love is even greater than our thirst for JHjs love.
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor