Tìm Kiếm

24 tháng 3, 2014

Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent - Year A (March 23, 2014)

“Give me a drink,”
3rd Lent Sunday [A] 2014

My dear brothers and sisters,
We are in the Holy Season of Lent and today is the 3rd Sunday. The dominant image in today’s Scripture Readings is ‘water'. In fact, the particular focus on today’s readings has to do with our understanding of faith as God’s gift.
In the First Reading from the Book of Exodus, the Israelite people tormented by thirst in the wilderness are crying out for water. In the face of their mistrust, Moses believes in God’s power to save; in the face of their grumbling, he lifts his hands in prayer; in answer to their testing, he proves God’s presence by striking the rock to bring forth water.
In the Gospel Reading from St. John, we have the marvelous account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Jesus is tired and thirsty from his journey and asks her for a drink. He asked the woman for a drink of water and she responded by asking “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” The Samaritan woman did not understand that his real thirst is for her faith and salvation. He invites her to come to faith in him and she finally recognizes him as the Messiah, the Savior of the world.
St. Paul, in the Second Reading from his Letter to the Romans tells us that faith, hope and love are God’s gifts to us. We are all God’s chosen people called upon to live purified lives and God’s love was poured into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit that has been given to us through Christ. Thus today’s readings are directing us to take a good look into ourselves and experience the divine insight.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, in Story of a Soul, wrote the following about Jesus asking the Samaritan woman for water: “…when He said: “Give me a drink,” it was the love of His poor creature the Creator of the universe was seeking. He was thirsty for love. Ah! I feel it more than ever before, Jesus is parched, for He meets only the ungrateful and indifferent among His disciples in the world, and among His own disciples, alas, He finds few hearts who surrender to Him without reservations, who understand the real tenderness of His infinite Love.”
Like Jesus, the Samaritan woman was thirsty too; that's why she came to draw water from the well. She asked him: “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty.” In reality, her thirst was more than water and Jesus could see that. She was thirsty for a real relationship and for God. Jesus had a never ending supply of what she needed. She needed peace, needed forgiveness, needed the love, and  needed someone she could trust and believe in. In short, she needed a Savior; a Messiah! Jesus did not give her normal water, but living water, the water of eternal life.
There were also a lot more thirsty people in that village. The Samaritan woman did realize this. As soon as she knew who Jesus was, she ran to the town to tell others. Certainly, few of them trusted her and they came to see this man she spoke of. They came to Jesus because they were thirsty too. Their thirst was greater than their mistrust. And in the end they said, that they no longer believe because of her word; for thay have heard for themselves, and thay know that this is truly the Savior of the world.
Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well were thirsty; the Israelite people were thirsty; a lot of people in our world are thirsty; and we are now thirsty too. We also have a thirst like the Israelite people and the Samaritan woman. During this Lenten Season then, let us come to the well and meet Jesus there. He will give us living water, water for eternal life, not for water that simply quenches dry throats. He is interested in giving us the water of God’s graces, water that satisfy our spiritual thirsts. We believe in His words: “Everyone who drinks the water from this well 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.” Amen.

Fr. Joseph Pham Quoc Van, O.P.