THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
Exodus 17:3-7 * Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 * John 4:5-42
The fundamental message of Jesus’ dialogue with the Samaritan woman at the well is one concerning the mysterious workings of God’s grace. This Gospel must be considered from two different perspectives that mutually inform each other. On the one hand, the reading can be approached as an explication of the “living water” and its source. On the other hand, the Gospel illuminates the human need for living water by revealing the sinful state of humanity. Interestingly, it seems as if the full significance and even appeal of the living water, which is grace, as St. Thomas Aquinas explains in his commentary on John’s Gospel, can only be truly embraced in light of the sinful state of humanity.
When the woman asks Jesus to give her the living water, which she misunderstands as physical, he redirects her to reflect on her sinfulness, thereby enlightening her need for this living water, which is grace. Scripture scholar William Barclay writes in his commentary on this passage, “There are two revelations in Christianity: there is the revelation of God and the revelation of ourselves…Christianity begins with a sense of sin.” This sense of sin, when viewed in the light of God’s grace, illuminates the depth of our brokenness and need for that grace. Thus, as the Paschal solemnities draw closer, let us prayerfully examine our lives in light of the mercy of God to lead us to a deeper surrender to the mystery of God’s grace.
- Where do I see God’s “living water” at work in my life?
Henry Carter Finch
Class of 2014
Future Plans: I am currently in my second year of philosophy studies in seminary. If the Lord wills it, I will complete seminary studies and be ordained to the priesthood.
St. Mary's Catholic Center will post a daily reflection from a student, former student, or staff member every day of Lent. We have compiled these reflections into a handout, given to our students on Ash Wednesday.