Sunday, March 12th, 2023 – Third Sunday of Lent - Cycle A Readings: Exodus 17:3-7, Psalm 95 “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”, Romans 5:1- 2, 5-8, John 4:5-42
My dear brothers and sisters, we enter into the third week of Lent. Last week, we participated in our Lenten retreats with the theme “From the Cross to the Light”. As we look at the light, we are filled with hope. There is a type of hope that can help us momentarily and give us motivation to keep going. However, this hope runs out the moment we stop thinking about it. This type of situation is what the people of Israel experienced in the desert. Of course, the natural need for food naturally leads us to seek the means to achieve and satisfy hunger and thirst. But the message that the book of Exodus wants to communicate to us is deeper: complete trust in God. This confidence is different from the one we were referring to up to now; we can call it with the same name, hope, but the origin is God.
This hope is what we know best as a theological virtue; that is, it is a gift from God. The essential difference between the virtue of hope and the hope that we can manufacture is that we receive the former from God through grace. The second ends the moment we put it aside. Although the first, the hope of God, we can also deny it and we will become blind to it. It is in these moments that we begin to lose our entire trust in God and we can even tempt God, as the people of Israel did.
Our response should be like that of the woman at the well. Jesus waits for us at the well, even in the heat of midday, to draw us closer to Him. Just as the people of Israel approached Moses to ask for water, so we put ourselves at the feet of the Samaritan woman and approached the well with Jesus.
Hope is possible by the grace of God: the hope that He gives us, which is a firm confidence that God fulfills the promise of eternal life. All this comes from living water that becomes a spring capable of giving eternal life. This is God's hope. The firm conviction in eternal life for the gift we have received. This is our faith. And so we are invited to share that spring of charity with our neighbor today.
In this third week of Lent I would like to invite you to reflect on these as questions: ·
1.What hopes have I created that do not bring me satisfaction?
2.What moments remind me of experiencing the living water that Jesus Christ offers me?
3. And, with this information, what do I want to say to Jesus in my prayer today? May the grace of God be with you.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.