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19/03/2017 – 3rd sunday of Lent – Year A

19/03/2017 – 3rd sunday of Lent – Year A

1st reading Ex 17,3-7 * from Psalm 94 * 2nd reading  Rm 5,1-2.5-8 * Gospel John 4,5-42

‘The people suffered for the lack of water”: and the people took advantage to start gossiping about Moses and to complain of God. People forget all the privileges they did benefit, and are not able to release, they are not able to ask for help with simplicity and humility. People forget the past and are not able to think that God hold in His hands and prepares their own future: trust would be the unmissable ingredient to go towards to a future of peace and joy. We can notice straight away the difference in Jesus ‘behavior. He too when he arrived from the long trip in Samaria, was thirsty, but he did not complain about it. When someone comes, he asks him for help with simplicity and humbleness. Who did arrive? Who God ask for help? He knows that whoever will arrive, it has been sent by God in gift! Here she is, a woman arrives from the nearby city, a Samaritan woman. Can a Samaritan woman be a gift of God? Jesus knows that even the Samaritans are beloved by His father, and therefore he does not judge them. And he is ready to accept also from them the love, a sign which the Father has always caressed Him with.

The Samaritan woman was astonished the same as we are. Knowing Hebrews habits, it is truly strange this reaction of Jesus. Doesn’t He maintain the habits of His own people? How comes he does not condemn the woman, refusing to stay at her presence? How comes he address to her with words of simplicity, as if he wants to state He needs her? Even the woman is disoriented. She does not expect to be considered or to be involved in a conversation, and nevertheless to be able to act with gestures of love which are accepted by others. Jesus, instead, estimate her and talk to her just because he is sure the woman has been sent by his Father.  The fact that her faith and her behavior are not perfect does not mean that they cannot change, she will face God who will open her eyes and she will start then to live a new relationship with Him changing her behaviors.

Jesus knows the past of that woman, he knows the limits of the culture and the faith of her people, and it is for this reason she does not behave properly, is the consequence of these limits, but he also knows also that His Word and His love can enter into her heart and make her His disciple. He then keeps on telling her: “give me something to drink”, which means: “enter into relation with me, do not consider me your enemy, make a gesture of love, and you will be enriched by it. A simple gesture, like offering me some water, even if you were afraid that I might be your enemy, it will leave an imprint in your life, it will enrich you and quench the thirst of your spirit”.

When the woman starts to take Jesus seriously , he invites her to go home and to get back to the person she lives with. So she will not be the only one to believe in him, she will not be alone in this experience of faith: left alone she would not have the strength to resist to the hostility she will meet. It is necessary that the recognition of Jesus is shared with someone else. It is necessary that those who get to know him, can experience the communion the Holy Spirit donates. That woman however does not have anyone with whom she can share her new faith. The men with whom she lived and with and  whom she lives now, are all interested, rich of egoism, materialism, like her. The action to take is now throwing the net, like the fishermen: she announces to all the presence of that man who know how to love, who loves God and shows his love for men, even for the unlucky ones, like her.

Many other thoughts generate from the page of the fourth chapter of the gospel of John which we listened. For today is enough. Whoever have heard the  woman have understood, have encountered Jesus and have recognized Him, loved Him, and believed Him. Who would have believed this? Missnionary was that woman, not the disciples who were only worried for the lunch. A missionary of Jesus, wo did not feel that she was judged or accused by Him.

The thirst suffered by Jesus, thirst for which he never complained, was the occasion to quench the deep thirst which the human soul suffers, a thirst experienced also by the Samaritans. It is the thirst of love, of the love only Jesus can offer, the love of the Father. And it is the thirst of love, to offer then to others the  same divine love that we are offered. We are also thirsty and we are also able to quench and satisfy the thirst of our brothers. “The love of God has been poured in our hearts”, Saint Paul says, and this happened when Jesus died for us sinners. Every time we suffer or we experience some efforts, we have the occasion to receive and give that love which is not ours, but comes from the heart of the Father through the cross of Jesus. Thus we will not complain anymore, but like Jesus, with humility and serenity we will ask and accept the help of a brother or a sister. We love offering the occasion to love. And thus a holy love will develop, a live communion, fruit and mirror of the Trinitarian communion, that one representing  Father and Son as one in the Holy Spirit.