Lenten Reflection – 15 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 17:3-7, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8, John 4:5-42
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” … John 4:13-14
Jesus spoke of a “living water” able to quench her thirst and become in her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” in addition, He demonstrated that He knew her personal life, He revealed that the hour has come to adore the one true God in spirit and truth and lastly, He entrusted her with something extremely rare – that He is the Messiah.
All this began from the real and notable experience of thirst. The theme of thirst runs throughout John’s Gospel, from the meeting with the Samaritan woman to the great prophecy during the feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7: 37-38), even to the Cross, when Jesus, before He dies, said to fulfil the Scriptures: “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28). Christ’s thirst is an entranceway to the mystery of God, who became thirsty to satisfy our thirst, just as He became poor to make us rich (cf. II Cor 8: 9). Yes, God thirsts for our faith and our love. As a good and merciful father, He wants our total, possible good and this good is He
The Samaritan woman, on the other hand, represents the existential dissatisfaction of one who does not find what he seeks. She had “five husbands” and now she lives with another man, her going to and from the well to draw water expresses a repetitive and resigned life. However, everything changes for her that day, thanks to the conversation with the Lord Jesus, who upsets her to the point that she leaves her pitcher of water and runs to tell the villagers: “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (Jn 4: 29).
Dear brothers and sisters, like the Samaritan woman, let us also open our hearts to listen trustingly to God’s Word in order to encounter Jesus who reveals His love to us and tells us: “I who speak to you am he” (Jn 4: 26), the Messiah, your Saviour. May Mary, the first and most perfect disciple of the Word made flesh, obtain this gift for us.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Third Sunday of Lent, 24 February
Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who gained for us this season of grace,
and pray to Him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.
Christ, our life, through baptism we were buried with You and rose to life with You,
– may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, You have brought blessings to all mankind,
– bring us to share Your concern for the good of all.
May we work together to build up the earthly city,
– with our eyes fixed on the city that lasts forever.
Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness of our spirit,
– so that we may grow in holiness through Your constant care.
So many times I turn away from You
and always You welcome me back.
Your mercy and love gives me confidence
Thank You for the invitation to share, fast and pray
so that You can form a new heart within me.
Your powerful compassion for my weaknesses
leads me to ask for mercy
and await with great hope the Easter joy You share with us.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
“Come, then, behold our Lord, He has come into the world from His Father’s side, He has emptied Himself so as to complete His course in humility (Phil 2:7) (…). He saw the Gentiles like a parched flock whose spring of life was closed by sin as by a stone. He saw the Church like Rachel and so He ran towards her and removed the heavy sin as though it were a rock. He has opened up the baptistery for His bride to bathe in, He has drawn water and refreshed the nations of earth as if they were His sheep. With His almighty power, He has removed the heavy burden of sin, He has uncovered the spring of sweet water for the whole world.”