Father Nathan Homily | March 15, 2020
Father Nathan | Homily
3rd Sunday of Lent
In today’s gospel we read about the moving encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan women.
During it Jesus told her about the gift God wanted to give her- the gift he called “living water”. Hence we encounter Jesus and he offers us the same gift.
Today’s readings are centered on Baptism and new life. Living water represents God’s Spirit who comes to us in Baptism, penetrating every aspect of our lives and quenching our spiritual thirst.
The Holy Spirit of God, the Word of God, and the Sacraments of God in the Church are the primary sources of the living water of Divine Grace. We are assembled here in the Church to drink this water of eternal life and salvation.
Washed in it at Baptism, renewed by its abundance at each Eucharist, invited to it in every proclamation of the Word, and daily empowered by the anointing of the Spirit, we are challenged by today’s Gospel to remain thirsty for the living water, which only God can give.
Scripture lessons summarized:
Today’s first reading (Ex 17: 3-7)
Despite their ingratitude, God shows his care for his people by providing water for them in the desert.
The reading describes how God provided water to the ungrateful complainers of Israel, thus placing Jesus’ promise within the context of the Exodus account of water coming from the rock at Horeb.
Responsorial Psalm (Ps 95)
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
Refers both to the Rock of our salvation and also to our hardened hearts. It reminds us that our hard hearts need to be softened by God through our grace-prompted and assisted prayer, fasting and works of mercy which enable us to receive the living water of the Holy Spirit, salvation, and eternal life from the Rock of our salvation.
The second reading (Rom 5:1-2,5-8)
God has proved his extraordinary love for us by the fact that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Saint Paul asserts that, as the Savior of mankind, Jesus poured the living water of the gift of the Holy Spirit into our hearts.
Today’s Gospel (Jn 4: 5-42)
Tells the story of Jesus touching encounter with a Samaritan woman. Jesus approach to this outcast woman was ever so gentle. He didn’t force himself into her life.
Had he done so, she would have immediately closed up. There is a world of difference between asking people for the key to their house and battering the door down.
In fact, he began from a position of weakness. He began with a request for a drink of water. In this way he disposed her to receive the gift he wanted to give her.
His heart was already open to her. Now she opened her heart to him. He treated her with great respect. Not a hint of judgment or condemnation.
The holier a person is the less he is inclined to judge others. Right from the start he was looking into her heart. Yet he did not make her feel bad. She didn’t feel judged. Rather, she felt accepted and understood. No one ever paid such a close and loving attention to her before.
Jesus explained her life to her more sympathetically than she’d been able to explain it to herself. Before she realized it, she had shared with him the whole story of her sad and confused life. A wonderful dialogue ensued, and a marvelous exchange took place. An unclean and outcast Samaritan woman is given an opportunity to receive the living water.
Jesus awakened in the woman at the well a thirst for the wholeness and integrity which she had lost, a thirst which he had come to satisfy. This Gospel passage also gives us Jesus’ revelation about himself as the Source of Living Water and teaches us that we need the grace of Jesus Christ for eternal life because he is that life-giving water.
1) We need to allow Jesus free entry into our personal lives.
Jesus wishes to come into our “private” life, not to embarrass us, not to judge or condemn us, but to free us, to change us, and to offer us what we really need: the living water of the Holy Spirit. Let us find this living water in the Sacraments, in prayer, and in the Holy Bible, especially during this Lenten season.
2) We need to be witnesses to Jesus as the Samaritan woman was.
Let us have the courage to “be” Jesus for others, especially in those “unexpected” places for unwanted people. Let us also have the courage of our Christian convictions to stand for truth and justice in our day-to-day life.
3) We need to leave the “husbands” behind during Lent as the Samaritan woman did.
Today’s Gospel message challenges us to get rid of our unholy attachments and the evil habits and sinful addictions that keep us enslaved and idolatrous. Lent is our time to learn from our mistakes of over-indulgence in food, drink, drugs, gambling, promiscuity, or any other addiction that distances us from the Living Water.
Wishing you and Your Family a Lenten Season Filled with Holiness and Grace!
Have a Blessed Week,
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