Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sunday Reflections: 3rd Sunday of Lent, 23rd Match 2014

If you knew the gift of God
The readings
Ex. 17:3-7
Ps. 95:1-2.6-7abc.7d-9
Rm. 5:1-2.5-8
Jn 4:5-42
Today's Sunday is a special one from the point of view of the choices of the readings. The first reading for example tells the story of the ingratitude of the Israelites in face of difficult moments. The Israelites were in the desert and when they lacked drinking water they rebelled against Moses and God. They remembered there was land in Egypt.
How come they easily forgot the greatness of the great I am? Have they already forgotten his words in Exodus 3:7-8? I saw the affliction of my people and I came down to rescue them. Have they soon forgotten how he made them pass through the red see in Ex. 14? How come they are now longing for their land of captivity? If they knew the gift of God!
In the second reading, St Paul takes up the second part of his teaching to the Romans. From Rm. 1-4:25. St Paul develops his teaching on justification by faith. But in today's second reading he takes up another aspect of it. He explains what makes Christ's death unique: That's he died for sinners and not for the righteous. The implication is that Christ dying for the unjust reconciled sinners to God giving them hope of salvation. Hence believing (surely by living an active faith) sinners are reconciled to God.
In the Gospel from which the theme was taken, St John gives us the narration of Christ's encounter with the Samaritan woman. The past historical motif(background) without which this encounter cannot be better appreciated could be read in the 2Kg 17:1-25.
The gospel tells how Jesus was tired and needed some rest and, should I say coincidentally had no where to rest except at the well. Was he really intending to rest or was waiting for an opportunity to initiate a conversation? Let's notify that the problem wentbfar beyond Jewish-Samaritan squabbles when he decided to chat with a woman. Every good Jew knew it was scandalous for a man to chat with a woman publicly. No wonder the Apostles were dumb folded at the sight of the  "all round abnormal pair".
At the course of their conversation, Christ made two important remarks.
1). He is the Messiah and he gives the living water.
2). Time have come when those who worship the Father should do it in spirit and truth.
To conclude, let's not be like the Israelites who only recognize God's presence in good moments. Let us instead learn from the Samaritan woman who recognized Christ the Messiah in an ordinary life activity. Let's be attentive to see Christ in the most usual things of our daily activities.
If you knew the gift of God!

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