HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
THEME: A SPIRITUAL THIRSTING NOT MATERIAL THIRSTING
Beloved in Christ, permit me to share a story with you as an introduction to today’s. It’s about a family who lived in a semi desert area. One day, they sent their 12 year old daughter to a well 3 miles away to get a bucket of water.
However, on her way back, the little girl missed a step and fell down and sadly lost the water. But she went back to the well again for water and took it home. Thus she , used seven miles for the trip, for the water meant life for her family. However, because most of us easily get water by turning a tap, we fail to appreciate how people suffer to have water just to survive.
My dear friend, it should therefore not surprise us that both our first reading and gospel reading today are talking to us about lack of water. Thus reminding us about our longing for spiritual satisfaction. In truth, all of us
have a longing – for pleasure, comfort or tranquillity. And this thirsting or longing, according to St. Teresa of Avila, “expresses the desire for something, so intense that we will die if we lacked it.”
But the tragedy of man’s life is that many try to satisfy this inner craving of the human heart with material things. Well, material things can never fill our inner void – for ours is a spiritual thirst. For our thirst comes not for ourselves but because someone thirst for us.
Therefore, trying to satisfy our thirst for God with material things is like trying to distract a crying baby by giving the baby sweets. Beloved, it is Jesus who is always longing for us – thirsting to give salvation to anyone who comes to him (John 7:37-38)
Hence the meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well tells us that though the present may look bleak ,it should not warrant our giving up or going back as Israel yearned for in the first reading. For memory cuts out all of the bad stuff that happened and magnifies the good. But your present situation is not your future condition. If God can produce water from a rock, then he can provide you with all that you need to move on toward your promised land. For with God, the journey moves forward into the future. He is thus the God of change.
This is affirmed by the life of the Samaritan woman – who was seen as a person of scorn to be rejected and avoided because of her situation but God made her a missionary for Jesus. God’s love transcends barriers and knows no limitations and is not hindered by prejudices.
Therefore, despite our sinfulness and failures, God can use us if we accept His call. For “as the deer pants for the running waters, so also can God alone fill our inner void. (Cf Psalm 42:1)
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