THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A
THEME: “THE LIVING WATER”
((Readings: 1st: Ex 17:3-7; Ps: 94; 2nd: Rom 5:1-2.5-8; Gos: Jn 4:5-42))
Today is the 3rd Sunday of Lent, our mother church Is inviting us to come and drink from the wells of living water. Water is one of the most essential requirements for the sustenance of all lives. According to scientific studies, water makes up 60-75 percent of the total body fluid. Man can live for long without food but if deprived of water he will die quickly. Water is the source of life. In a special way let us also pray that God may open up the heavens and pour down rain on our land.
In the book of Exodus, we read about the lamentations of Israelites in the desert. Their long journey across the desert was not without challenges. They encountered fiery snakes and they were invaded by enemies. Tormented by thirst, the people grumbled and complained against Moses and consequently against God. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? In order to die of thirst; together with our children and cattle too?” In the Gospel, we encounter an exhausted Jesus seated by Jacob´s well asking the Samaritan woman to give him water to drink because He was too thirsty.
God instructed Moses to use his staff to strike the rock. From it, water came forth. The Israelites drank and were satisfied. Jesus is teaching the Samaritan woman and us about another water called “Living Water” that satisfies the human soul such that man will never become thirsty again. What is Jesus referring to as “Living Water” so we too can fetch and drink today? The Living water refers to the following:
- JESUS HIMSELF
Jesus is both the rock of our salvation that Moses struck in the desert and our eternal living water. Like the Israelites, today we also need a spiritual drink from the living water that flows from Christ, the Rock of Ages. Hence, we must: “Draw water from the well of salvation” (Is 12:3) in order to quench our spiritual thirst this Lenten season.
In the letter to the Romans, Paul describes how the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Paul is reminding us how helpless our life was and could still be without Christ, the Living Water. Jesus is offering Himself to the Samaritan woman as living water to drink. The material water we are searching for does not bring true happiness. Our thirst for fulfillment in life will be satisfied if search for Jesus, the living water and the source of our life. This living water is for everybody regardless of religion or culture. St. Augustine clearly said: “My heart is made of you O Lord and it is restless until it rests in you.”
- THE WORD OF GOD
The word of God is like water because it gives us life. During the temptation in the desert, Jesus told Satan “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:3). The word of God is vibrant with life, a word that carries the power of life, and the power of transformation, a word that is active in us and penetrates deep in our spirit and soul, joints and marrow. He who believes in Me, as the SCRIPTURE said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water”. (Jer 17:13). Lack of the word of God starves our soul. How often do we read the word of God?
- THE SPIRIT OF GOD
The living water that Christ is inviting us to drink today is the Spirit of God, the love that fills our hearts. Whoever allows himself to be guided by the Holy Spirit will discover true happiness and will need nothing else. In the Gospel according to John, the Samaritan woman leaves her water jug behind, she does not need it any longer because she has discovered another kind of water. We also need first to detach ourselves from material inclinations in order for our hearts to be filled with the spirit of God which is the living water. Today being the first scrutiny of our catechumens, let us pray for them to be able to detach themselves from material inclinations and waters of this world that quench our thirst forever.
In brief, the water in the well is a symbol of all the pleasures people seek, hoping to find happiness in them, but in the end, they are left empty and disappointed. Our mother church is therefore inviting you to search for the living water that will quench your thirst forever. Our quest for God, His Spirit, and His word will bring fulfillment to our heart’s desire. Material possession will give us pleasure for a moment, but they do not guarantee true happiness. Let us use this Lenten season let us search for the living water and remove any obstacles that prevent us from reaching these wells of salvation. “As the deer longs for running stream, so my soul longs for you, my God” (Ps 42:1).
PRAYER: Lord, give me some of that water, so that I may never get thirsty again. Amen
Spiritual readings for the week: (Read Ps 42)
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“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the word and the spirit of Grace; and may the heart of Jesus live in the heart of all the people. Amen” SVD Prayer
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