Suy Niệm > My seven-minute homily - index
My Seven-Minute-Homily, March 27.3.2011
Third Sunday of Lent, Year A
The Book of Exodus 17,3-7; The Letter of St. Paul to The Romans 5,1-2, 5-8
and the Gospel of St. John 4,5-42
On the way from Egypt to the promised land, Israel people were so thirsty that they complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and live stock with thirst?” and they were almost ready to stone Moses. Moses run to God for help and God ordered him to strike the rock and water came out to satisfy people’s thirst. Moses named this place Massah and Meribah, because people put God to the test by saying “Is the Lord among us or not?”
In today's Second Reading, St. Paul tells us that “while we were still sinners Jesus died for us”. Jesus did not wait for us doing repentance and then he died. He died first to show he loves us first and his death becomes a call to repentance. So according to St. Paul, God has already answered for our needs. The grace of God is surplus and waiting for us to receive it.
The Gospel tells us the story of Jesus and a Samaritan woman by the well of Jacob. Jesus was so tired and thirsty for travel. He stopped by the well waiting for his disciples running out to get food. A Samaritan woman came to the well with some empty containers for taking water home. Jesus first asked the woman for a drink. The woman did not answer for Jesus thirst but brought him to a discriminated problem happened between Jews and Samaritan. Jesus did not mind about this problem. He entered a deep conversation with that woman and he made her thinking of living water. The woman thirsts living water right away and she wants a quick answer by saying, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty nor have to keep coming here to draw water”. Jesus requested her husband coming as well and the woman has confessed that she has no husband even she has already lived with five men.
Why Jesus asked her husband come for the living water? Every day the woman wants to have water from the well for her thirst. In the same way, she needs a man around. But a man and water from the well never satisfied for her real thirst. Her real thirst was righteousness and Jesus wanted to give her that water, the living water, the water of righteousness, of justice. It was Jesus himself, the one who is speaking to her.
The woman left her water-jar and went back to the town. She made the whole town believe in Jesus. And then Jesus was satisfied as well. The living water came out from him not making him thirsty more by satisfying his thirst. He thirsts for human salvation. He thirsts for justice and he thirsts for human happiness. The water from the well and the life together with a man without marriage never be a right answer for people need. A real need for people is Jesus himself, repentance and righteousness.
People always see the surface of their needs: food, clothing, money, medicine, car, house, marriage and all kind of possessions. And they think that they will be completely satisfied when they have them. It is why they really are impatient if they don’t get the answer for these things. In reality, many people have them already and they are still thirsty for more better things. They dream a heaven on earth. Sometimes people try to different ways to satisfy their thirst. The Samaritan woman in the Gospel goes to the well for water drawing and has lived with different men. But her thirst was still there. The heaven has never been on earth. The question is, after the woman met Jesus by the well and believed in Jesus as the Messiah. Will she keep coming to the well of water? Yes, she should do as she did before however her life was changed for sure. She might see the meaning of life and the need of her life, not just the water from the well or a man in common law but living water, eternal life that the Messiah has promised for those who worship God in spirit and truth.
Every day we need all needs for life on earth. Be not thirsty with these things. Be thirsty for righteousness, for living water, for eternal life in heaven. Spend time for your spiritual thirsts, for the food of spiritual life. We won’t see Jesus as IGA or Extra Foods or Superstore when we go shopping there. However, he keeps providing living water for all of us by celebrating Eucharist, by receiving Sacraments and Holy Communion, by reading the Bible, by doing Morning and Evening prayer, by sharing the work of your parish. Many people receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent. Many others don’t see any living water come out from this sacrament. They feel very hard to tell the truth of their lives. However, the living water has been granted to the woman after she has confessed her sins. Come to confession, not just for the sins we tell but for the spiritual change we suppose to get. Amen
Father Great Rice