Gospel Reflection: Third Sunday of Lent 2018

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.
March 4 Lent

In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear about Jesus’ choice to visit Samaria, a place and a people looked down upon by the Jews. Once there, he engages in a theological discussion with a woman, and not just any woman, but a woman that the Evangelist’s audience would have frowned upon.   

In this encounter Jesus reveals a beautiful image of God, an image we would never dare to dream. Jesus shows us a God who loves us unconditionally and passionately seeks us out.

Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for water. By this action Jesus draws attention to God’s thirst for us. His thirst is so great that He cannot wait for us to come to Him; rather, He searches us out. He comes to where we are, even if we are in a place that is messy. 

This thirst of Jesus prepares us for the most dramatic expression of God’s love, the Crucifixion of Jesus.  The simple but profound description of Jesus thirsting at the well in Samaria and later from the cross, answer the why of creation, incarnation, and the entire paschal mystery, “I thirst” and the “Father thirsts” not for water but “for YOU”. 

Salvation is dependent not on our thirst for God but God’s thirst for us. Even when we do not seek, God seeks us. When we realize this thirst of God for us, we are awe struck and overwhelmed, just like the Samaritan woman.

Through mission work, we see God’s thirst working for all who are in need - the lonely, the sick, and those who are hurting. On Solidarity Bridge mission trips, relationships are reciprocal and the contributions missioners make lend themselves to the gift of receiving from the patients they encounter. For some Solidarity Bridge missioners, this thirst renews itself with every visit as they build meaningful spiritual connections and relationships with their Bolivian brothers and sisters. It is when we truly experience thirst in our heart and soul that we are led to cry out with the Samaritan woman: “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty…” Then we will hear in our heart the promise of Jesus: “…whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.” 

This week we might want to try and remember a time we physically felt the discomfort of thirst.  Did that thirst become my sole focus? How did I feel when I acquired water to drink? Can I dare to believe that God thirsts for me in this way?

at the well

Seeking God, 

we give thanks that you thirst for us. May we who are known and loved by you, share the gifts of your love as we strive to live in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world.

Sister Donna Marie Wolowicki, C.R. is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection.  She has been a member of the Solidarity Bridge Board of Directors since 2011. Currently she is President of Resurrection College Prep High School.  Previously she was a critical care nurse, a nurse educator and for 22 years the Chief Executive Officer of Resurrection Medical Center.

Your Lenten almsgiving will restore lives and
relieve suffering in Bolivia. 

*Catholic liturgy provides two sets of readings for the middle three weeks of Lent. One set is used to accompany those who are preparing to be baptized and enter fully into the life of the Church. In solidarity with their journey of faith, we have chosen those readings for this week.

It's never too late to start. Three weeks remain in Lent. 
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