for Sunday, March 19, 2017
We ask so much of God! So often our prayers are about what we need, what we want, what others need and what others want. We are humans and most often focused only on our own world. Today Jesus invites us to open our eyes and see the salvation of God all around us. If we see salvation, we might prepare our hearts to walk with Jesus through death to resurrection.
The first reading today is from the Book of Exodus. The Jewish people have begun their walk to the Promised Land. Now they feel the lack of water and begin to complain. Now it is water they lack, later it is food. Still later they want a different leader. The complaint does not matter! Always it is something! But water is important and we find this longing for water here in the first reading and then much more so in the Gospel from Saint John.
The second reading brings in another element: God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. The Letter to the Romans from which today's small passage comes, reflects on the deep love of God for His people. God loves us so much that He sends His own Son - even to die for us while we are still sinners. For so many people today, such a sacrifice appears useless or even at times something that should be taken for granted. We live in a society where we expect to be the center and to be taken care of. How can we convey the immense value of Jesus giving His life for us?
Jesus shows us a way in the Gospel of John today. He is gentle and courteous and draws the interest of the Samaritan woman in many ways. First Jesus asks her for water. Then later Jesus offers her water. Slowly she comes to understand that this man there with her might be the Messiah. This one of the very few places in all of Scripture where Jesus says completely directly: "I am he, the one speaking with you."
Each of us, right now, must become aware that this is Jesus speaking not only directly to the Samaritan woman, but to each one of us. Jesus tells each one of us: "I am the Messiah, the one who is speaking to you."
So many of us look and look for the Messiah! In so many ways we look for ways of salvation. Yet, when the Messiah is right there with us and tells us: "I am the Messiah," we seem to ignore Him. We want something or someone else.
Jesus, let me know You! May I come to know you as the fulfilling of all that I have ever wanted! Let me see Your face and I shall be saved.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Exodus 17.3-7
Second Reading: Romans 5.1-2, 5-8
Gospel: John 4.5-42
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: