Sunday, March 23rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 4:5-42.
Third Sunday of Lent – Year A
23 MARCH 2014
“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.”
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 4:5-42.
Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
(For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)
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.”
(The woman) said to him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her, “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 said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come back.”
The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus answered her,
“You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship
the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship
the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes,
he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”
At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, but still no one said,
“What are you looking for?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people,
Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?
They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”
But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
So the disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.
Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’? I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving his payment and gathering crops for eternal life,
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”
Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified,
“He told me everything I have done.”
When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”
Third Sunday of Lent – Year A
Commentary of the day
Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop
CC Sermon 22 ; PL 57, 477
“The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said:
‘ Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah? ‘ “
“Water quenches a flaming fire and alms atone for sin” (Sir 3,29): water is compared to mercy. But just as water flows from a source, so must I search for the source of mercy. And I have found it in the prophet: “With you is the source of life and in your light we see light” (Ps 35,10).
It is indeed he who in the Gospel asks for water from the Samaritan woman… Our Savior asks the woman for water and pretends to be thirsty so he can pass on eternal grace to the thirsty. For indeed, the source cannot be thirsty and he in whom living water is to be found cannot drink the polluted water of this earth. Was Christ thirsty? Indeed he was thirsty but not for our drink but for our salvation. He was thirsty, not for earth’s water but for the redemption of humankind.
Christ the source, seated at the well, miraculously causes the waters of mercy to spring up from that same location. A woman who has already had six lovers is purified by the waves of living water. Oh what a wonder! A loose woman who has come to the well of Samaria returns chaste from Jesus’ source! Having come in search of water, she departs with virtue. She immediately confesses to the sins to which Jesus alludes, she recognizes the Christ and proclaims the Savior. She leaves her water jar behind and… in its place brings grace back with her to the village; relieved of her burden, she returns laden with holiness… She who came a sinner returns a prophetess.
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