Sunday, March 23, 2014

Third Sunday of Lent
Often in our dealings with each other, in those one-on-one conversations that we have with one another, we stumble from misunderstanding to misunderstanding.  Along the way, we seek clarifications regarding whether we have understood the other person correctly.  This is an admission that what we hear another person saying may not be what the other actually said.  It is hard to hear what someone else is saying when we allow ourselves to get in the way of what they are saying.

The Gospel about Jesus and the woman at the well is just such a conversation.  Jesus asks for water, and the Samaritan woman, rather than giving Jesus some water to drink, first questions why Jesus, a Jew, is speaking to her, a Samaritan, when Jews and Samaritans do not speak with each other.  The Samaritan woman next misunderstands what Jesus is offering here, thinking that the water Jesus is offering is ordinary water, when in fact Jesus is offering her the life-giving waters of eternal life.  The Samaritan woman, in responding to Jesus’s question about her husband, admits that she has not a husband, and Jesus probes deeper for the truth that she has had several husbands and the man she is presently with is not her husband.  The townspeople do not trust the woman when she says that she has found the Messiah and must see for themselves that Jesus is who He says He is.  Even the disciples of Jesus, upon their return, misunderstand the situation and question Jesus about what He is doing talking to a Samaritan woman.

How hard it is to communicate with each other and not get things wrong.  How hard it is to understand what God is saying to us when we get in the way of the message.  Our presumptions and misconceptions can be obstacles for true communication with God, just as it was for the Samaritan woman, the townspeople, and the disciples of Jesus.

Lord, help us to hear what You are saying and to remove those things in our lives that block Your words to us, especially the Word of life, Jesus, Your Son.  Amen.

 Fr. David Theroux, S.S.E., ‘70, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies

First Reading: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8, 11
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

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