MARCH 19, 2017: THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT - Cycle A



First Reading
Exodus 17:3-7
God tells Moses to bring forth water from the rock.


Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 95:1-2,6-9
Sing joyfully in the presence of the Lord.

Second Reading
Romans 5:1-2,5-8
Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

Gospel Reading
John 4:5-42
Jesus reveals himself to the Samaritan woman at the well. (shorter form: John 4:5-15,19b-26,39a,40-42)


On this Sunday and the next two Sundays, we break from reading the Gospel of Matthew to read from John's Gospel. The Gospel of John is the only Gospel not assigned to a particular liturgical year. Instead, readings from John's Gospel are interspersed throughout our three-year liturgical cycle.

In today's Gospel, the dialogue between Jesus and a woman from Samaria is among the most lengthy and most theological found in Scripture. The most startling aspect of the conversation is that it happens at all. Jesus, an observant Jew of that time, was expected to avoid conversation with women in public. The animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans should have prevented the conversation as well. The woman herself alludes to the break from tradition: “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” Yet Jesus not only converses with the woman, he also asks to share her drinking vessel, an action that makes him unclean according to Jewish law.


 

The initial conversation between Jesus and the woman is better understood if we consider the importance of water, especially in the climate of Israel. At first, the woman understands Jesus' promise of “living water” in a literal sense: “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” With no running water, the daily trip to the well by the women of the community was of paramount importance.

The women of the town would have traveled to the well in the early morning, but this woman came to the well at noon, the hottest time of the day. The timing of her visit is a clear sign that she is an outcast within the Samaritan community. We learn in her conversation with Jesus that she is an outcast because of her “many husbands.”

Behind the conversation lies the animosity and rivalry between the Jews and the Samaritans.
Samaritans shared Jewish ancestry, but Samaritans had intermarried with foreigners when they lived under the rule of the Assyrians. Samaritan religion included worship of Yahweh, but was also influenced by the worship of other gods.
When the Jews refused Samaritan help in the building of the Temple at Jerusalem, the Samaritans eventually built a temple for themselves at Mt. Gerizim (the same mountain mentioned by the woman at the well). Like the Jews, the Samaritans believed that a Messiah would come.


The high point of the conversation is when Jesus reveals himself to her as the Messiah. His answer to the Samaritan woman's questions about worship is meant to predict a time when worshiping in truth and spirit will become the way to worship.

After the conversation, the Samaritan woman becomes a disciple. Even though she is an outcast and not a Jew, she returns to her town to lead others to Jesus and to wonder whether she has found the Messiah. The Samaritan townspeople return with her to meet Jesus for themselves, and many are said to come to believe in him.

The significance of the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman has many levels. The first is personal: The woman is herself converted to belief in Jesus as Messiah because he knows her sin but speaks with her just the same. The second is social: Having come to know Jesus as the Messiah, the Samaritan woman becomes an evangelist to her own people.

The third level of the story is educational: Jesus uses his encounter with the Samaritan woman to teach his disciples that God's mercy is without limit. The disciples return from their shopping quite confused to find Jesus talking with a Samaritan, and a woman at that! But the conversion of the Samaritan townspeople is a foretaste of the kind of open community that will be created among those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah.



Family Connection

Lent is a season for repentance. It is a season during which we are called to reflect upon and to live deeply the promises of Baptism. The well and the conversation about water immediately recall for us the Sacrament of Baptism. As the Samaritan woman was converted and sent on a mission because of the conversation about water, we too are converted and sent by our Baptism to preach the good news of Jesus to others.


Take this opportunity to reflect upon the importance of Baptism with your family. If you have photos or other mementos of your family's Baptisms, bring them out and take some time to recall the day of Baptism and its importance to you and your family. Create a prayer table that includes these mementos and a bowl of holy water. After you have spent some time talking about Baptism, invite everyone to listen carefully and prayerfully to today's Gospel. Read John 4:5-42 together. Ask how Jesus' meeting with the woman at the well is like Baptism. (Jesus knows the woman's sin and forgives her. The woman comes to know Jesus as the Messiah. The woman invites others to meet Jesus.) Pray a prayer of blessing for each member of the family that God will help each one live the promises of his or her Baptism. Pray together the Lord's Prayer.








[Lectio Divina for THIRD Sunday Lent PDF]




da:
http://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/sunday-connection/third-sunday-of-lent-cycle-a-sunday-connection



 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 26: FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT - LAETARE SUNDAY
Father Albert Lakra
There is a story told about a little boy at church with his mother. He was a good little boy, quite and well behaved. He didn't ...to be continued

 

MARCH 26: FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
As we did last week, we are reading today from the Gospel of John. In today's Gospel, the healing of the man born blind ...to be continued

 

MARCH 25: Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Eileen Burke-Sullivan
I have always been struck by the simplicity of the Annunciation ...to be continued

MARCH 20: Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Maureen McCann Waldron
Jesus had a radically different view of God, one that drew so ...to be continued

 

MARCH 19: THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
by Luis Rodriguez
For the second Sunday of Lent, we move from Jesus' retreat to ...to be continued

MARCH 19: THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
On this Sunday and the next two Sundays, we break from reading the Gospel ...to be continued

 

MARCH 12: SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
by Joan Blandin Howard
Remember the first time riding a “two wheeler” without training ...to be continued

MARCH 12: SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
For the second Sunday of Lent, we move from Jesus' retreat to ...to be continued

 

MARCH 5: FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
by Larry Gillick, S.J.
In our First Reading for this liturgy, we hear of one garden, two ...to be continued

MARCH 5: FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
In each of the three Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) ...to be continued

 

LENT SEASON:
On the Journey with Jesus, Our Compassionate Brother
Ralph McCloud
"When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very ...to be continued

Lent in the Catholic Church
Andres Ortiz
The season of Lent is a Catholic liturgicalliturgical season ...to be continued

Living Lent daily
Advent has a wreath. Christmas has a tree. Lent has Ashes ...to be continued

A Lenten retreat
by Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J.
Lent, spring, and the Spiritual life have this in common ...to be continued

 

 

PROPOSALS FOR MEDITATION - We want to offer spiritual texts, which can be of help to nourish our faith and strengthen our life in Christ: they are an opportunity to compare our experience with that of Christian witnesses 'old' and contemporary.

Christ the high priest makes atonement for our sins - Origen
The mercy of God to the penitent - St. Maximus the Confessor
Hold fast to God, the one true good - Saint Ambrose
A Samaritan woman came to draw water - Saint Augustine
Friendship with God - William A. Barry, SJ
Christ and Moses - St. John Chrysostom
What should I give up for Lent? chocolate? ice cream? soda?
In Christ we suffered temptation, and in him we overcame ... - Saint Augustine
Biblical time: Chronos or Kairos? - Archbishop Christopher Prowse

 

 

 

 

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