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Deacon's Homilies


Third Sunday of Lent


On this 3rd Sunday of Lent we hear the Gospel story of Jesus asking for a drink of water from the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.


Water is very precious and life giving.


My wife Sandy and I, along with another couple used to go on one week long canoeing trips deep into the interior of Algonquin Park.  Clean drinking water was very important. It can be the difference between life and serious illness or death.  So there was a daily ritual of obtaining water far from the shoreline and purifying the water before using it.


It would have been handy to have clean water taps all throughout the interior of the park, but that is impractical.


In our first reading from Exodus, Moses had led the people from Egypt, across the Red Sea, and into the desert on their way to the Promised Land.  They were very tired and thirsty and complained to Moses about their situation.  They were not happy.  God instructed Moses to strike the rock of Horeb with his staff and water flowed out of the rock.


In our Gospel reading today from John, we hear about the Samaritan woman meeting Jesus at Jacob’s well.


The story begins with Jesus, after a long journey, sitting by the well, tired, hungry and thirsty.  The disciples have gone to town to get some food.  A Samaritan woman comes along to get water from the well and Jesus asks her for a drink of water.


For us this might seem like just an ordinary request from someone who is tired and thirsty. 


However by asking her, Jesus went against the normal practice of the Jews.  For one thing, one did not approach a strange woman who was on her own and also Samaritans were not very well liked.  They were considered as a people who had fallen away from the true religion of Israel. 


So she must have been very surprised and shocked that Jesus would ask her for a drink of water.  Jesus’ reply to her astonishment was that, if she only knew who was asking for a drink of water, she would instead be asking him for water.


But how could Jesus could give her a drink when he didn’t even have a bucket with him, she wondered?  Jesus answers her saying that those who drink the water that he will give will never thirst again and that it will give eternal live.  She then asks Jesus for some of that living water. 


The water that Jesus is talking about is not only fresh, flowing water; but water that will give life; water that will quench our spiritual thirst. 


It is about God’s Spirit which comes to us in Baptism.  Baptism is not just a one time ritual but the first step, the beginning of our Christian life where, through and with Jesus, the love of God is poured into our hearts in communion with the Holy Spirit.


Through our Baptism God enters and penetrates every aspect of our life.  We are continually nourished by that living water as we allow Jesus to enter more and more deeply into our lives; as we try to follow the Gospel message of what life is truly all about.


Jesus reveals to the Samaritan woman that he is the Messiah and he tells her many things about herself. Jesus knows that in her heart she was thirsting for God’s Spirit, and he quenched that thirst.  She received new insights and became a follower of Jesus. She went back to her village to share all the Good News that Jesus told her. 


Many believed her witness and so they invited Jesus to come and spend some time with them.  As a result many came to believe in Jesus.  Initially it was because of her personal witness; but later it was because Jesus entered their life also and opened up for them the word of God.


Jesus came to the village because he was invited, otherwise he might have continued on his journey.  Jesus is always standing and knocking at the door of our heart waiting for us to invite him in.


Jesus wants to be part of our life; to quench our thirst with living water.  When we allow that living water of Christ to quench our thirst and we allow Jesus to be part of our life, then we will willingly live out our faith and not hide it from the people around us. 


We will then be open to the challenges and opportunities to share the good news with others. And so immersed in that living baptismal water; the water of eternal life; may our faith be strengthened and may we have the courage to be Christ for one another and with one another.



Deacon John