HOMILÍAS/HOMILIES

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Spanish Version

 

Third Sunday of Lent

Cycle A

Readings: 1) Exodus 17: 3-7  2) Romans 5:1-2, 5-8  3) John 4: 5-42


On this Third Sunday of Lent we continue our journey with the Lord towards the Cross and towards the Resurrection. We began this Lenten season with the story of the temptations that the Lord suffered and how he overcame them. Last Sunday we saw how Abraham followed the call of the Lord and we meditated on our own life and our call to sanctity. Today we are going to take another decisive step on our journey with the Lord.


Saint John tells us, in the Gospel, through the dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, that all of us have a thirst for God and that only Our Lord, Jesus Christ, can quench that thirst. The recounting of the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman begins when Jesus arrives in a small town in Samaria called Sicar. Samaria is located in the north of what today we call the Holy Land. The inhabitants of that region were looked won upon by the Jews who said that the Samaritans had allowed themselves to be influenced by foreign religions and had incorporated part of those religions in their rites and liturgical celebrations. Because of this they were considered to be pagans. The Jews did not usually talk nor did they have anything to do with the Samaritans. Because of this the apostles were perplexed when they saw Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman.


In Sicar there was a well that had supplied the town with water for centuries. Years before it had belonged to Jacob, one of the sons of Isaac, the son of Abraham. Our Lord arrived in the town at midday after a long day of walking in the dusty roads of the region. He was tired and he sat down at the well. In spite of being tired, he chose that place and that moment to make himself known to the Samaritan people as the promised Messiah, the anointed of God, the Savior. Jesus proclaimed for the first time that he is the only font of eternal life. He told the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.”


Our Lord used the water as an image to talk about the grace that springs from the divine font of his crucifixion and death. In the Middle East water is vital. The first quality that Jesus uses to describe his water is this: living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that the water that he gives is living water. The people who live in countries where water is scarce know very well the difference between well water o dead water and living water that springs forth without ceasing. The Jewish people always remembered the living water that sprang from the rock that Moses struck two times with his rod in the desert and from which the Hebrew people drank in abundance. The living water of Jesus has two qualities. Whoever drinks of it will not be thirsty. The spiritual water of Jesus gives love for the things of the Lord. When we drink of it we easily overcome the desire in our lives for perishable things. Jesus came to give us life of the spirit, the life that begins here when we accept, through faith, the divinity of Jesus.


In that living water, in the divine grace that springs from the passion and death of Our Lord, we find the road to eternal life. Jesus tells, “Whoever is thirsty” to “come to the (living) water.” He offers us salvation and he tells us that the thirst for God can only be satisfied through him.