Third Sunday in Lent
March 12, 2023
My hometown of Cincinnati is located on the Ohio River. The river brings us commerce, recreation, and drinking water. It also brings destructive floods. Water is a powerful sign; that’s why it’s used in baptism, symbolizing our entry into the life and death of Jesus.
Our Lenten readings today relate to baptism. We hear a story from Exodus, where the people complain because they’ve run out of water. God–through Moses–responds with a life-giving stream of water. From John’s Gospel we have the drama of Jesus and the woman at the well. The early Church used this story in its Lenten liturgy.
The woman at the well represents a believer who reluctantly comes to faith. She needs Jesus, his insights into her life, and his promise of “living water,” to slowly win her over. But isn’t that the way it is for most of us? We need time to be convinced; we face contradictions and faulty choices in our lives. Nevertheless we thirst for what God offers us. And in the end–when we’ve tasted new life in Christ–we just have to tell others about it. Believers become apostles.
Our Lenten journey may find us thirsty for living water. Let’s listen closely to the Lord’s invitation.