2014/03/23 - Homily - 3rd Sunday of Lent

attention open in a new window ImprimerE-mail

Today’s readings lead us back to a very particular moment in our life. They lead us to the time of our baptism. Baptism which enables us to live in fellowship with God.

But do we really  live  as people carrying the gift of our baptism within us?

Today’s readings show us how we can renew our baptism  grace. How to continue to put our trust in God as he trusts us. In other word, how to lead a satisfactory and happy life. Trust, contentment and happiness, three words as three threads bound together. 


The first reading  and  the reading of the Gospel emphasize the human difficulty to have trust in God and in life in general.

The Samaritan woman has an unsatisfactory life. She has had five men, but no one had been able to bring her happiness.

She is for us, when reading this Gospel, the embodiment  of a non satisfying life.

But what or who could bring  her happiness?       

Even the water supposed to quench her thirst  provided from the Jacob well symbolizes such unhappiness.  Only the life with Christ could bring the final happiness.

«Anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again, the water that I shall give will turn into the spring inside him welling up to eternal life. »  

But as Jacob’s well was very profound, we must go deeper and deeper in order to find such water. The water put inside us with the baptism gesture, is like ground water  to be found upon that good relation with Jesus. Such water which is inside of us is given to us with the grace of baptism, grace coming from God.

When Jesus asked the Samaritan  to give  him water, she was very  surprised.  She had never seen someone like him before.  In fact, Jesus’s request was an astonishing one as it broke  the  law according to which Samaritan people were  separated  from Jews.  But also Jesus broke a taboo. He came to the well at an unusual time of the day, when the sun is high in the sky.  Never a man  goes to the well at that  time  except to meet a woman to  have a sex with. Of course it wasn’t Jesus’ purpose but probably was it the woman’s.  By taking such a risk Jesus would take the woman out of a bad way where nothing  was really genuinely satisfying. And he showed  her another one which could bring her happiness. 

Thus the woman opened her heart to the new way offered by Jesus .And her heart grew  bigger and bigger. Nothing to do with her previous one only caring for satisfaction. A large opening of her  heart  was possible  because  she had met  Someone who not only didn’t condemn  her, but immediately indicated a joyful and fruitful way of life  to her . And it is a good news for us.

We have known such situations in our own lives and around us. Not necessarily at such an emotional degree as the one we can feel  with the Samaritan woman.  But through  our whole life  exposed to the  many temptations which lead us apart from the true path OR which make us stray people and not Christ’s followers ?

But if we put Jesus at the core of our lives, in our heart of hearts, then we can widen it and He will provide us with the indispensable tools for life.  Even if many difficulties contribute to bar our free way, we can find strength inside us, because Jesus is living inside us.

The people of Israel were led by Moses, at the beginning of his story with God. But so many things were not understandable, uncertain.

With Jesus our trust in God is living  inside our hearts.  The water of our baptism flows and constantly cleans us from our sins. It is the water of promises that God   is constantly giving us.  Even if we may ask him as the Israel’s people did :  “Is the Lord with us,  or not ?”

Coming to attend this mass, we were greeted by the words: “the Lord be with you “!  So we responded “and with you spirit”.

Even if the Lord may be hidden during a week, his presence is revealed during a mass.
So after our meditation about the Samaritan‘s meeting with Jesus and the demand from the people of Israel, I will repeat this beautiful greeting:
            “The Lord be with you  ALL.”                              Amen