3rd Sunday of Lent (a)
The Season of Lent.
Sunday 19th 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 20th March: Solemnity of St. Joseph..
The feast of St. Joseph did not become widespread until the fourteenth or fifteenth century, the first Mass in his honour being celebrated in Rome in 1505. The genealogy of St. Joseph is found in St. Matthew’s Gospel and in St. Luke’s. We also know form the Gospels that he was a carpenter and that it was very likely that Jesus learned the trade from him. Joseph and Mary were poor, as evidenced by the fact that, at Mary’s purification in the Temple, they offered a pair of turtledoves. The tribute paid to him in Scripture is that he was a just man. On several crucial occasions, such as Our Lady’s pregnancy, the flight into Egypt, the return to Palestine, Joseph was instructed by an angel. Pope Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph patron of the universal Church.
Tuesday 21st March: Tuesday of third week of Lent.
Maybe we don’t like to acknowledge it but each one of us has been forgiven a lot. Perhaps not ‘big sins’ in the scale of things but scandalous in the sense of being totally unacceptable on the part of people who profess to be the sign of the Church, of Jesus or of God himself. Where is our forgiving others as God has forgiven us as we pray the Lord’s prayer.
Wednesday 22nd 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 23rd 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 24th 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 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.
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.