Sunday, March 27, 2011

Third Sunday of Lent 2011

Readings for March 27, 2011, Third Sunday of Lent:

Third Sunday of Lent 2011

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
March 27, 2011

A brief foot note to answer the question of why the Jews didn't like the Samaritans? It was because the Jews saw them as mixed blood, as some of the Jews married people from outside the Jewish community and so they saw this as a type of betrayal.

"Give me a drink," Jesus asked of the Samaritan woman. In His thirst, Jesus reveals His humanity, His simplicity, and even, do we daresay, His neediness. Water is an ordinary thing we all need to live. What's amazing is how our Lord quickly moves the conversation from the lowly water of earth to living water that comes from the heights of heaven. He will stir up a great thirst in the heart of this public sinner and help her see the beauty of God's love for her.

Our Lord has a knack for constantly bringing us to higher ground. We even see this approach in the Psalms: "As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for You, O God." Here is some guy, possibly David at work as a shepherd. He notices a thirsty deer as it searches for water. Then he raises the earthly scene to heaven, turns it into a prayer, "that's how much I thirst for you."

It might not work for you (assuming you don't run into many deer during working hours), but the images aren't too foreign to us. Like a toddler longs for a sippy cup, like a sports fan longs for a beer, like a suburbanite longs for expensive coffee, our Psalm writer notices the daily event, and then connects it to a deeper thirst in his heart. Finally comes the prayer, and notice how personal it is - it is a prayer addressed to God. He doesn't say, "I thirst for God," he says, "God, I thirst for You."

It is a great question to ask ourselves: "How often throughout the day do I talk to our Lord?" How often do I lift a thought, and word, a name or a face up to the only one who can bless my World? I'm sure everyone here has inklings of it; maybe we have some set times for prayer, and these are essential. But we might suddenly realize that we talk too much of ourselves or to others. Or we carry on prolonged conversations with our worries or even our sins. Sometimes those ordinary events remain grounded on earth, because we haven't directed them personally to God.

Lent, on the other hand, calls us to discover that I can carry out a constant conversation with the Lord. I begin to hear God speaking to me in the midst of my daily activities and that He is waiting for me to raise my mind and my heart and my work to Him. And how do I know that? Because you're here today for Mass. You're trying this Lent to become closer to Christ. Because, like the woman at the well, you realize that Jesus Himself has started the conversation with you!

'Thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.

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