March 23, 2014 – The Third Sunday of Lent
Ex 17: 3-7; Ps 95: 1-2, 6-9; Rom 5: 1-2, 5-8; Jn 4: 5-42
Our readings on this Third Sunday of Lent begin with the tale from Exodus about how the people of Israel were in the desert, and they were thirsty. They were unhappy with Moses, their leader, and they were disappointed with God to the extent they questioned whether the Lord was still present, asking “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”
That is a question we may ask at times. We may wonder if God is watching over us; we may lose our trust in God. It is worth noting that the Book of Exodus tells us in today’s reading that the Israelites were in a place called Massah and Meribah. In Hebrew “Massah” means “to test” and “Meribah” means “to quarrel or provoke.” The description of the chosen people “provoking” God and “testing” God may have applicability to us as well. Stewardship calls for us to place our faith and trust in God — to believe and know that He is always with us and always watching over us.
That is not easy. Jesus never once tells us that it will be easy or that it is easy. However, He also assures us in today’s Gospel that He brings us the “living water.” Even in the Book of Isaiah we are reminded “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Is 12:3) As St. Paul says in the second reading, “…and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts.” (Like living water)