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23rd MARCH, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 4:5-15, 19-26, 39-42)

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN AT THE WELL

Jesus came to the Samaritan town called Sychar, near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph, Jacob’s well is there, and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat straight down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

When a Samaritan woman 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, “What? You are a Jew and you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?” – Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans.

Jesus replied, “If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you ‘Give me a drink’, you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water.” “You have no bucket, sir,” she answered, “and the well is deep: how could you get this living water? Are you a greater man than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?”

Jesus replied, “Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again; but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside him, welling up to eternal life.” “Sir,” said the woman, “give me some of that water, so that I may never get thirsty and never have to come here again to draw water.” Jesus said, “Go, call your husband, and come back here.” The woman answered, “I have no husband.” And Jesus replied, “You are right to say, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you said is true.” The woman then said to him, “I see you are a prophet, sir. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, while you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

Jesus said, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know; for salvation comes from the Jews. But the hour will come – in fact it is here already – when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.”

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah – that is, Christ – is coming; and when he comes he will tell us everything.” “I who am speaking to you,” said Jesus, “I am he.” Many Samaritans of that town believed in him on the strength of the woman’s testimony, so, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and when he spoke to them many more came to believe; and they said to the woman, “Now we no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he really is the saviour of the world.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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FROM OUR PRIVILEGED PLACE WITHIN THE ARK OF CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH, WE WAIT LIKE NOAH…

THE LORD HAS GATHERED US TO HIMSELF AND KEPT US SAFE

“From our privileged place within the ark of Christ’s holy Church, we wait like Noah for the sign of God’s loving covenant to save us from the killing flood of sin. The Lord has gathered us to himself and kept us safe. It is the Lord who has filled us with the desire for himself, our souls yearning for holiness. Even as the flood waters subside, we find ourselves thirsting for the living water, for an encounter with the living God like the kind that the woman at the well longed for without knowing.

Where can we turn to see the face of God? In our trust and abandonment, we await the Lord as the farmer awaits the great harvest that begins with the scattering of so much simple seed. He then goes to sleep at night and rises again in the morning, day after day, until the seed grows without his knowing how it happens. To claim God’s provident care is the Christian’s exalted glory. That glory is the fruit of humility and confidence.

THE FRUIT OF HUMILITY AND CONFIDENCE

For forty years the Israelites wandered in the desert. The Lord led them in their lengthy vigil, preparing them to enter into the Promised Land. Never did they go without food, without water, without protection. God’s calendar and schedule are not our own. We wait in faith. We follow as disciples. We rejoice in the way God’s will unfolds.

Our life is in God’s hands. Even if an enemy is to come while we are asleep and to sow weeds through our wheat, we will wait. We will let weeds and wheat grow together until the time of the harvest. Then we will gather the wheat into our barns, and burn the bundles of worthless weeds. For God’s purpose rules in every circumstance. His greatness shines in the smallest details. The Lord overlooks nothing. And so, we throw off every temptation to fuss and fret, like the anxious Martha. We wait this night in contemplation with Mary at the feet of the Master.”
– Peter John Cameron, O.P.

 
 

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