From the Pastor's Desk

What do I thirst for spiritually? Can I find sustenance in life-giving water I have received? How can I share this living water with those around me?

Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings are centered on Baptism and new life. Living water represents God’s Spirit Who comes to us in Baptism, penetrating every aspect of our lives and quenching our spiritual thirst. The Holy Spirit of God, the Word of God and the Sacraments of God in the Church are the primary sources of the living water of Divine Grace. We are assembled here in the Church to drink this water of eternal life and salvation. Washed in it at Baptism, renewed by its abundance at each Eucharist, invited to it in every proclamation of the Word and daily empowered by the anointing of the Spirit, we are challenged by today’s Gospel to remain thirsty for the living water,which only God can give.

The first reading describes how God provided water to the ungrateful complainers of Israel, thus placing Jesus’ promise within the context of the Exodus account of water coming from the rock at Horeb.

The Responsorial Psalm, Ps 95, refers both to the Rock of our salvation and also to our hardened hearts. It reminds us that our hard hearts need to be softened by God through our grace-prompted and -assisted prayer, fasting and works of mercy which enable us to receive the living water of the Holy Spirit, salvation and eternal life from the Rock of our salvation.

In the second reading, Saint Paul asserts that, as the Savior of mankind, Jesus poured the living water of the gift of the Holy Spirit into our hearts.

In the Gospel, an unclean and outcast Samaritan woman is given an opportunity to receive the living water. Jesus awakened in the woman at the well a thirst for the wholeness and integrity which she had lost, a thirst which He had come to satisfy. This Gospel passage also gives us Jesus’ revelation about Himself as the Source of Living Water and teaches us that we need the grace of Jesus Christ for eternal life because He is that life-giving water.

Life messages: 1) We need to allow Jesus free entry into our personal lives. Jesus wishes to come into our “private” life, not to embarrass us, not to judge or condemn us, but to free us, to change us and to offer us what we really need: the living water of the Holy Spirit. Let us find this living water in the Sacraments, in prayer and in the Holy Bible, especially during this Lenten season.

2) We need to be witnesses to Jesus like the Samaritan woman. Let us have the courage to "be" Jesus for others, especially in those "unexpected" places for unwanted people. Let us also have the courage of our Christian convictions to stand for truth and justice in our day-to-day life.

3) We need to leave the “husbands” behind during Lent as the Samaritan woman did. Today’s Gospel message challenges us to get rid of our unholy attachments and the evil habits that keep us enslaved and idolatrous. Lent is our time to learn from our mistakes of over-indulgence in food, drink, drugs, gambling, promiscuity, or any other addiction that distances us from the living water.

Fr. Gus. MS, Pastor