Third Sunday of Lent

Today’s Reflection
Gospel: Jn 4: 5-42
March 12, 2023 | Sunday

Today’s Gospel

He came to a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well is there. Tired from his journey, Jesus sat down by the well; it was about noon. Now a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had just gone into town to buy some food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan and a woman, for a drink?” (For Jews, in fact, have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift of God! If you knew who it is, who is asking you for a drink, you yourself would have asked me, and I would have given you living water.” The woman answered, “Sir, you have no bucket, and this well is deep; where is your living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well; he drank from it himself, together with his sons and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Those who drink of this water will be thirsty again; but those, who drink of the water that I shall give, will never be thirsty; for the water, that I shall give, will become in them a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Give me this water, that I may never be thirsty, and never have to come here to draw water.” Jesus said, “Go, call your husband, and come back here.” The woman answered, “I have no husband.” And Jesus replied, “You are right to say, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you said is true.”
The woman then said to him, “I see you are a prophet; tell me this: Our ancestors came to this mountain to worship God; but you Jews, do you not claim that Jerusalem is the only place to worship God?” Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you shall worship the Father, but that will not be on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is even now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for that is the kind of worshippers the Father wants. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit, and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah (that is the Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will tell us everything.” And Jesus said, “I who am talking to you, I am he.” At this point the disciples returned, and were surprised that Jesus was speaking with a woman; however, no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and ran to the town.
There she said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I did! Could he not be the Christ?” So they left the town and went to meet him. In the meantime, the disciples urged Jesus, “Master, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” And the disciples wondered, “Has anyone brought him food?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to carry out his work. You say that in four months there will be the harvest; now, I say to you, look up and see the fields white and ready for harvesting. People who reap the harvest are paid for their work, and the fruit is gathered for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. Indeed the saying holds true: One sows and another reaps. I sent you to reap where you didn’t work or suffer; others have worked, and you are now sharing in their labors.” In that town many Samaritans believed in him when they heard the woman who declared, “He told me everything I did.” So, when they came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and Jesus stayed there two days. After that, many more believed because of his own words, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is the Savior of the world.”

Today’s Reflection:

According to St. Augustine, the Samaritan woman by the well is some kind of an image of the Church. She is not a Jew but rather, she represents everyone who is in search of God. Jesus is the bridegroom who came to save the world with the life-giving waters: the blood and water which flowed out from His side after He was pierced by a lance on the Cross, and the living water of the Holy Spirit that washes away our sins through the Sacrament of Baptism.

We are reminded of this passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1617: “The entire Christian life bears the mark of the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bath. which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist. Christian marriage in its turn becomes an efficacious sign, the sacrament of the covenant of Christ and the Church. Since it signifies and communicates grace, marriage between baptized persons is a true sacrament of the New Covenant.”/Vulnerasti, 2023

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