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Summary: Relationships that come to a crisis get resolved by God; Evangelization

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Lent 3

Relationships that came to a crisis but got resolved by God are featured in our Readings this Sunday.

e.g. A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl. She wanted to know what the United States looked like. Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country. Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to her and said, “Go into the other room and see if you can put this together. This will show you our whole country today.” After a few minutes she returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly. “Oh,” she said, “on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our country just came together.”

It works the same way for relationships.

In our First Reading, the Israelites and Moses are in a crisis in the desert.

Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst… They had a lack of gratitude. And, it sounds as if even Moses doesn’t know what to do next to get them the water they need. But, God tells him to, “Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it

for the people to drink."

This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel, and water was given.

2). There is also a crisis in relationships in our Gospel Reading under the theme of: LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES.

e.g. An ad in the local newspaper read: “For sale, sleeveless wedding gown, white, size 8, veil included. Worn once, by mistake.”

That’s what most addiction is at its core – trying to fill the aching emptiness with something that will take away the pain – suicide, promiscuity and greed. St. Augustine was essentially right when he noted that within every heart there is God shaped hole.

Most of the women in the vicinity would have been at the well early in the morning to get the water they needed for the day. Perhaps the woman in today’s gospel came to draw water at noon in order to avoid nasty looks or comments from the other woman about her past five husbands and her current situation living with a man.

This women tried the first husband, drinking of that “water” and she was not satisfied. Then the second, third, fourth, and fifth husbands. Since none of these satisfied her, she was trying another one. (one that was not hers) Her changing of husbands fully proved that however much she drank of that “water” she was still thirsty. The Lord said, “everyone that drinks of this well will thirst again”

Jesus states that the water from the well will leave one thirsty again, representing the received religion tradition there in Samaria. In the Jewish tradition, the Torah was liken to living water. Here, it is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promises that this water will become a font over-flowing within her. This means that she will be over-flowing with God's grace and life.

LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES

She had 5 men, now living with a six. Number 7 is God. She desires the peace and the happiness that the things of this world cannot provide.

Some Scriptural terms for Sanctifying Grace and its effects are “living water,” “born again,” “wedding garment,” “new creation,” “children of God,” “divine adoption,” “life,” the Holy Spirit is the living water “welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4.14) in the heart that prays. It is he who teaches us to accept it [the living water] at its source: Christ. Indeed, in the Christian life, there are several wellsprings where Christ awaits us to enable us to drink of the Holy Spirit (CCC 2652).

3). Lessons for evangelization--

She is surprised that he even speaks with her. The Jews and the Samaritans did not speak to each other. She had guilt and shame, but she did not respond in fear. When Jesus recounts her past husbands it is only a statement of fact, not condemning. Jesus called her “woman” which is a term in the Bible not of reproof or severity, but of endearment or respect. Maybe even more respect than she treated herself.

The woman is cohabitating and Jesus says that he is not her husband but he turns her into a missionary. Moral challenges and delicate issues can be addressed with the promise of grace.

Law of gradualness. Human beings knows, loves and accomplishes moral good by different stages of growth. She went from addressing Jesus as “Sir,” then “Prophet,” then “Messiah.” All the Samaritans of that town call Jesus the Savior of the world after the two days he spent with them. (John 4:42). The love of God she experienced. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: Romans 5:8: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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