THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
The first reading is taken from the Book of Exodus 17:3-7. The Israelites, the Chosen People of God, were suffering slavery and the threat of total extermination in Egypt; God miraculously set them free and, with Moses as their leader, he led them towards the promised land of Canaan. But they soon forgot what God had done for them and began to murmur and rebel because of the difficulties of the long desert journey. One of these rebellious murmurings is put before us today.
The second reading is from the St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 5:1-2; 5-8. This brief section is an encouragement to all who have been given the gift of the Christian faith to persevere in spite of adversity.
The Gospel is from St. John 4:5-42. This gospel, about the Samaritan woman, is exceptionally rich. Every time we read it we are passionately moved by that intense conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, recalling the great teaching of Saint Augustine, with regard to Christ's request to the woman, “give me something to drink”, said: “Yes, God thirsts for our faith and our love. As a good and merciful father, he wants our total, possible good, and this good is he himself. The Samaritan woman, on the other hand, represents the existential dissatisfaction of one who does not find what he seeks. She had "five husbands" and now she lives with another man; her going to and from the well to draw water expresses a repetitive and resigned life. However, everything changes for her that day, thanks to the conversation with the Lord Jesus……” (Benedict XVI, Angelus 24 February 2008)