Thursday, March 16, 2017

Third Sunday of Lent : A : March 19.2017


First Reading: Exodus 17: 3-7
Second Reading: Romans 5: 1-2, 5-8
Gospel Reading: John 4: 5-42

   * First reading is from the book of Exodus. In this passage, we see that during their journey from Egypt to the promised land, people of Israel became agitated because they had no water to drink. They revolted and spoke against Moses and the Lord God who brought them out of slavery. Then God commanded Moses to strike a rock and immediately water gushed out and they had plenty of water to drink. God showed His care and concern for His people in spite of their ungratefulness and lack of trust.

   * Second reading is from St. Paul's letter to Romans. In this passage, Paul explains to the Christian community in Rome and us that God has proved His extraordinary love for us by the fact that Christ died for us while we are still sinners. God's love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit . So God's grace as flowing water is poured down upon each of us.

"Jesus and the Woman at the Well"
Today's Gospel reading is from St. John. This passage narrates the meeting of Jesus with a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. In a most dramatic move, Jesus asked for water from that woman . Samaritans and Jews had a rather hostile relationship at that time. Jesus a Jew asking for water from a Samaritan woman was most unusual in that context. Yet the woman after some initial hesitation, gave Him water. Jesus' encounter with the woman gradually changed her attitude to life. She soon realized that here is a person who understood her life situation. She shared with Him her sad story : her confused and sinful life.
Gradually and gently Jesus made her realize what she had been running away from. Till now , she was thirsting for transitory and worldly pleasures. Jesus talked to her about another kind of water that becomes a fountain from within leading to eternal life.
Similarly, Jesus comes into our lives like a weary, thirsty traveler asking for some water. Jesus makes inroads into our lives as the one  who is helpless and who stands in need of us. What He wants from us is more than water. He thirsts for our hearts. Like the Samaritan woman, who brought many people to Jesus, let us too go out to surroundings and bring many to the presence of the Lord.
"The account of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well proves unexpected daily occurrences bring about lasting changes in life when Christ is the centre of the experience" - St. Gregory Palamas.
" She (Samaritan woman) exhibited the actions of an Apostle, preaching the Gospel to all, and calling them to Jesus and drawing a whole city forth to Him" - St. John Chrysostem.

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