Reflection on the 3rd Sunday of Lent, Cycle A


In the first reading from the book of Exodus, the people of Israel found themselves thirsty and demanded water from Moses. God gives them water from the rock. In the Gospel, Jesus was thirsty and asked for water from the Samaritan woman. She countered with questions. Jesus began with this earthly water and went on to a spiritual water, drinking which one “will never thirst again”, for it will become “a spring” within man “welling up into eternal life.” The woman still remained in the material level and thought of having this water spring so she would not have to come to fetch again. Jesus shook her up from the material to the spiritual by asking about her moral life, her having many husbands. The woman conceded by calling Jesus a prophet, but again diverted the discussion to the question of “place of worship.” Jesus revealed to her that “true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.” Again the woman diverted the conversation to another topic, the Messiah who was to come. Jesus now made the important revelation: “I am he, the one speaking with you.” Jesus was not thirsty for water, but was thirsty for the faith and for the salvation of this woman. He used a good method of teaching by proceeding from the material to the spiritual, but the woman kept evading by changing topics. Jesus tried to reach her inner core by touching her moral life, but again she diverted the discussion. Finally Jesus revealed his person –“I am the Messiah”. 

Let us pause and examine ourselves. Have we not behaved with Jesus as this woman did? He spoke to us through homilies, recollections, retreats and readings, but did we immediately respond positively or did we divert the discussion to some other topics. When our moral life was questioned, did we feel guilty or irritated and even angry and would not talk about it? Jesus finally reveals himself to me as my Savior and Lord, did I kneel in humility? Did I repent? It is Lent and He invites me to conversion, do I say “YES”?

Look at the reaction of the woman; she went into the town to tell the people about Jesus. She forgot about her jar in her eagerness to share her discovery. Have I felt this kind of eagerness to share Jesus with others? Such was her enthusiasm that the people went out to see Jesus for themselves. Lord, give me the joy of discovering you that seeing my joy, others may also seek you.  When Jesus saw the people coming out to see him, Jesus lost his thirst and was hungry no more, for “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Jesus stayed two days more in that town teaching them, and many believed in him. “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.” Is it also my food? What nourishes me this Lent?

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Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.