Third Sunday of Lent (A)
Psalm: If today, you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
Welcome to the third Sunday of Lent!
As we progress through our Lenten preparations, this Sunday is a reminder of God’s loving generosity, BIG TIME. Of all the things God can give, he gave His only Son, the living water that gives eternal life.
Our gospel for this Sunday is entitled Jesus and the Samaritan Woman – a story of: tragic sinner meets tender savior. While Jesus passed through a town of Samaria, he met the Samaritan woman at the well. When he talked to the woman, marami pong hindi nasunod si Hesus na mga protocol dito.
Una, mahigpit na magkalaban ang mga Jews at mga taga-Samaria; Second, kahit na ito ay isang “short-cut” na rota papuntang Judea to Galilee, ito ay iniiwasan ng mga Jews because this place is not considered to be part of the “holy land; Third, normally Jewish men would not talk to a woman in public.
Jesus broke the social customs of his time and after asking for water, he offered the woman the water of eternal life. At sabi ng babae, sir, give me this water, so that I may not thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:15)
What are the reminders for us today?
- Salvation is all grace!
Kadalasan sa mga Jews kapag sila ay pupunta sa Galilee from Judea, they are willing to travel for 6 days instead of 3 days para lamang maiwasang daanan ang Samaria. Jews hated the Samarians because Samarians descended from Jews who had intermarried with Gentiles or pagans! But Jesus did not operate like that: he didn’t care about heritage, he didn’t care about the other people’s ill perception, he just wanted to save this poor woman.
God operates through grace. Samakatuwid hindi lamang ang mga mabubuti o matutuwid ang pwedeng bigyan ng kaligtasan. Kung tatanggapin mo ang Diyos sa iyong buhay, sasaiyo ang kaligtasang kanyang alay.
Sometimes we are too concerned with how we dress up, or how we look like, or how we have followed our religious duties, when after all, God only wants our willing hearts. Mahal ka niya, maging sino ka man.
- True satisfaction comes in godly life.
Noong sinabi ni Hesus sa kanya na “Whoever drinks the water I shall give shall never be thirsty again” – wow, this must be very appealing to the woman! All her life, naghahanap ang girlalu na ito ng makakasatisy sa kanya. She tried physical relationships-wa epek! Naka-anim na asawa na nga siya, wa- epek pa rin. Hindi pa rin naibigay ang kanyang hinahanap-hanap.
Her encounter with Christ changed her whole life. She became a witness, and kahit na hindi pwedeng tumestigo ang mga babae during her time, many people came to believe. And Jesus stayed in Samaria for 2 days.
Interestingly, when the apostles started preaching after the stoning of the first Christian martyr St. Stephen, it was Philip who went to Samaria and proclaimed Christ (Acts 8:5). The people there listened to the message, accompanied with supernatural signs. Many were converted.
Lent is the time for us to see our mistakes that keep us from coming to the living waters of a right relationship with God.
Brothers and sisters, hindi ikaw lamang ang mahal ng Diyos! If we think we deserve more than others because of our righteousness, then we don’t see as God does. God desires that everybody will be saved and come to the knowledge of truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD. Witness to the Word.