Third Sunday of Lent

03-12-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

Ex 17:3-7
, Rom 5:1-2, 5-8, 
Jn 4:5-42

GROW: Even St. Teresa of Calcutta experienced a period of “spiritual dryness.” We pray, we go to Mass faithfully, we serve others – yet at times God’s presence may seem elusive. Like the Israelites, we may ask, “Is the Lord in our midst or not?” As we enter the third Sunday of Lent, today’s readings assure us that God remains with us even during those times we may feel spiritually parched. In Exodus, water flows from a rock to satisfy the people. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman, a sinner and an outcast, recognizes Jesus as Messiah, and it changes her life. Even when we don’t “feel” God’s presence, we can rest assured that Jesus stands beside us. He is our redemption and our Hope, and “Hope does not disappoint.”

GO: In today’s Gospel, Jesus breaks with custom by talking to a woman – a Samaritan woman, no less. He “sees” her – knowing she has been married five times before and is living with a man not her husband. Yet he chooses to reveal to her his identity as the Messiah and offers her “living water.” But it doesn’t end there. The woman at the well goes forth and shares her experience with others. Many more came to believe in the Messiah based on her testimony. What an unlikely disciple! We may feel that we, too, are unlikely disciples: We are sinners, we’ve made mistakes, perhaps we feel we are unworthy to “represent” Jesus to others. But nothing is further from the truth. Jesus invites us not only to partake of the living water but to share it with others so that all may believe.

ACTION: Put a note on your mirror or bedside: “Hope does not disappoint.” Each morning, remind yourself that Jesus is the source of our hope, and try to think of ways to share this hope with others.