Third Sunday of Lent
March 15, 2020
Today, in Mercy, water flows through all our readings, inviting us to God’s refreshing Mercy.
For the thirsty and testy Israelites, the water flows from the rock of their hopelessness. Wandering in the desert for days on end, they are exhausted and bewildered. Each sunrise seems to push their destination farther away rather than bring it closer. They are thirsty … but for a lot more than a cool drink.
And God gives everything they need – not only water, but surprised hope and renewed confidence as they witness the mighty rock split at Moses’ touch.
Paul points out that it is, indeed, that hope which truly slakes the deeper thirst.
And hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
In our Gospel story, Jesus awakens in the Samaritan woman a thirst and hope she didn’t know she had. The layers of her tangled life had formed an impervious rock around her, insulating her from her own soul’s needs.
Jesus, “tired from the journey”, expressed his own need to her. This simple request unleashes a cascade of searching from the woman. Jesus, seeing her readiness for grace, catches all that pours out from her. He transforms it into a challenge for conversion:
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
And she accepts the challenge:
Sir, give me this water,
so that I may not be thirsty again.
As we pray today, we may sense a desert within us. Or we may feel that our soul’s journey has become frustratingly circuitous. We may be like the Samaritan woman, sitting beside a well that seems slowly drying out. Maybe the juices have dwindled in our souls.
In these readings, as we listen to the Ancients call out for flowing grace, we may find a way to ask God for the refreshment we need just now.
Living Waters – Gettys