Third Sunday of Lent, Year A, 12th March 2023

‘The water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside you, welling up to eternal life’

The readings for this Sunday centre around the themes of water and life, helping us to reflect on our true desires.

As they thirst in the desert, the chosen people of Israel begin to lose their trust in God. God responds to Moses’s urgent cry for help by providing water from a rock, thus satisfying their thirst. (First Reading)

The Psalmist responds by imploring us to listen to and trust in the Lord. Whilst joyfully singing our thanks to God, the source of all life, we are called to soften our hearts for God’s love to flow through.

In the long Gospel, Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He brings her to new life by showing her respect and compassion. Jesus invites her to trust in him and drink from the ‘living water’ that only he can give her, revealing himself as the Messiah. She responds by rushing back to her hometown: a new disciple excitedly sharing Jesus’s message.

The Second Reading reminds us how great is the depth of God’s unconditional love for us: though sinners, we are forgiven. The ‘living water’ promised in the Gospel is God’s love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us at our baptism. Our faith in Jesus quenches our thirst and brings us hope.

During Lent, let’s pray that in listening and responding with open hands and hearts to Jesus’s invitation to draw and drink deeply from his well of ‘living water’, we may see ourselves and each other through eyes of love.

We pray too that all those preparing to be baptised at Easter may find that life-enriching faith for their lives.