Responding to Jesus' Invitation for Living Water
Third Sunday of Lent, Year A
Ex. 17:3-7; Ps. 95; Rom: 5:1-2, 5-8; Jn. 4:5-42
(Audio recorded live, 12 March 2023)
Our readings today refer to two important aspects of our lives as Christians. The first is our faith in God; the second is our baptism by water and the Holy Spirit. Moses had faith in God that striking the rock would produce water, and that water gave life to the Israelites and strengthened their faith. St. Paul reminds us that we have all been justified by faith in Jesus. If we desire to be right and just, it begins with faith in Jesus. Justification is not possible without the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Jesus redeems us by offering his own life in expiation for our sins. Paul says, “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well also captures the important aspects of faith and baptism. It shows the woman slowly getting to know Jesus and what he is offering her. Jesus says to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” What Jesus is saying to her is that he is himself the gift of God, he is the source of living water. All she has to do is ask. The water that Jesus gives is the water of baptism and our entry into eternal life. And what is the woman’s response? She says, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty…” Her desire for living water is the result of her encounter with Jesus. We also are encountering Jesus, first through Baptism, then through our prayers, our worship, and the sacraments. And what was the result of the woman’s encounter with Jesus? She leads the whole town to him. That is the gift of God; that is the gift of living water, quenching the thirst of all who come to the wellspring of Christ.
And so, as we contemplate the significance of our own baptism, how do we respond to Jesus’ invitation for living water? How are we living out our baptism? May this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today be a sign of our faith in Jesus, who redeems us from sin, and gives us the bread of heaven, the wellspring for eternal life.
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