3rd Sunday of Lent, Year A – Homily

3rd Sunday of Lent, Year A
Exodus 17:3-7
Psalm 95:1-2, 607, 8-9 (8)
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
John 4:5-42
March 12, 2023

Jesus is making his way through Samaria.  “Tired from his journey,” He pauses to rest at the well.

While He is sitting at the well, “a woman of Samaria came to draw water.  Jesus said to her “Give me a drink”.”  The woman is surprised at his request.  Why?  It’s a simple request.  She is surprised because she recognizes him as a Jew and she knows that Jews and Samaritans didn’t associate with each other.

Well, others didn’t.  Jesus does.

He speaks to her of “living water” but she doesn’t get the significance of what He is referring to.  She assumes that He is speaking of water from the well.  At this point she calls him “Sir,” not recognizing the fullness of who He is.  She sees him only in his humanity.

The Israelites cried out in the desert for water.  They were thirsty and God gave them water from a rock.  They were concerned with earthly thirst.  Jesus is concerned with our spiritual thirst.

He continues to speak of living water, “but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.

She continues to take him literally and finds the thought of never thirsting appealing.  She won’t have to keep coming back to the well.

Jesus loves her so much as to meet her where she is at but He wants to lead her to more.  (Likewise, Jesus meets us in our sin but He wants to lead us away from sin to eternal life.

To help her take a step forward in faith, He says to her, “Go call your husband and come back.”  She responds that she does not have a husband.  Jesus already knows this and in fact, knows she has had five husbands.  He says this to her. 

She sees the significance of Jesus knowing that she has had five husbands and calls him a prophet.  She has taken a step forward in her faith of who Jesus is.

He speaks of the worship that will be offered in Heaven.

She, not Jesus, then brings up the expected Messiah.  She is beginning to take another step forward in faith.  She is beginning to understand that Jesus is the Messiah.  She’s not quite there yet but close.

Her faith still needs to grow but, even in her incomplete faith, she does something incredible.  She goes to town and tells others about Jesus. 

Meanwhile, his disciples return and are amazed that He is talking with a woman.  Her heart has been opened.  Will they allow their hearts to be opened?

Will you allow your heart to be opened if you hear Jesus’ voice?

It might seem like a foolish question.  Who won’t listen to Jesus speaking to them? 

Someone who doesn’t want to change.  They like their lives as they are.  A person who doesn’t want to undergo conversion hardens their hearts to God. 

The townspeople did not harden their hearts.  They were intrigued by what the woman said and went to hear Jesus for themselves.  Because she shared what she knew about Jesus, they would come to believe from Jesus’ own words.  If she hadn’t shared her encounter with Jesus, they may never have come to know Jesus.  Share what you have experienced.

Meanwhile, open yourself to grow in faith.  Jesus led the Samaritan woman from calling him “sir” to “prophet” to “Messiah.”  The fact that you are here likely means Jesus is more than “sir” to you.  He’s at least a prophet.  I pray you know him as “messiah.”  That means He is the anointed one.  Is Jesus your king?  Do you know Jesus as your Savior?

Recognize the wonder of what Jesus has done for us.  Do not harden your heart.  He has given his life for us, “in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”  So, we bow down in worship.

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