3rd Sunday of Lent (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Season of Lent
Sunday 23rd March: Third Sunday of the Lent (a)
In today’s Gospel, from St. John, we read about the moving encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. During it, Jesus tells her about the gift God wants to give her – the gift he calls ‘living water.’ Each time we gather for Mass we encounter Jesus and he offers us the same gift.
The first reading, from the Book of Exodus, shows how, despite their ingratitude, God shows his care for his people by providing water for them in the desert.
St. Paul, writing to the Romans, reminds them how God has proved his extraordinary love for us by the fact that Jesus died for us while we were still sinners.
Monday 24th March: Monday of third week of Lent.
Today’s liturgy makes us think especially of those converts who are being prepared for Baptism at the Easter Vigil. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that the Church is missionary, evangelising. People ask why be concerned about unknown distant peoples, far less those who are close to us. Elisha cures the pagan officer from Damascus in Syria and the man found faith and healing. Jesus warns the people that salvation will be offered to all, even non-Jews, pagans. It doesn’t mean that the missionary will be always understood or even welcome.
Tuesday 25th March: Solemnity of the Annunciation.
This is the feast that reminds us of the good news announced to Our Lady that she would become the mother of Jesus. Jesus is announced. He is the one who will come to do God’s will by being with us and saving us. It is also obviously Our Lady’s feast as well. Like Jesus, she shows her willingness to serve God and his people. ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord.’ May these be our words also.
Wednesday 26th March: Wednesday of third week of Lent.
What is the meaning of the commandments to us? To the People of Israel, they were the total expression of faithfulness to God and to the whole people as part of the Covenant. They were the road to freedom from all slavery. They were signs of belonging to God and trying to live lives that showed that.
In Jesus, all this is fulfilled and he takes it further. The commandments remain but they become the basic step not to salvation but to a right relationship with God and our neighbour, a relationship which is built on and motivated by love.
Thursday 27th March: Thursday of third week of Lent.
‘Listen to my voice’ says God through his prophet Jeremiah and then he complains that God’s people fails to listen. They go their own ways and do not speak the language of God or live a live that shows his presence.
In the Gospel, Jesus heals the man who was mute. Worse than anyone who is blind or deaf or mute are those who do not want to see or hear or to speak with sincerity. They do not follow Jesus. Their hearts are blind and divided.
Friday 28th March: Friday of third week of Lent.
Many human endeavours fail because God is left out of the picture. Israel wanted to go her own way, rely on her own resources and alliances with the mighty of the day. We cannot be saved without God
Salvation lies in the love of God and is expressed in the love of our neighbour. The rule of the Christian should be ‘Love God with your whole being and your neighbour as yourself.’ See God in your neighbour and see also a bit of yourself in your neighbour.
Saturday 29th March: Saturday of third week of Lent.
We have already heard how we cannot save ourselves by empty rites and practices. Sin is forgiven and lasting happiness found in an encounter with God. If we recognise and admit that we are sinners, then there is room for growth. God raises us up, saves us from our failures and helps us grow in the love of Christ.
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness
And we feel our weakness and helplessness
Give us Your presence,
Your love and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
In Your protecting love
And strengthening power
So that nothing may frighten or worry us
For, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.