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Bulletin: March 12, 2023

Third Sunday of Lent

There is thirst, as we feel when we need a glass of water, and then there is the sort of thirst about which Jesus speaks with the Samaritan woman at the well. The conversation started on the level of the sort of thirst that is quenched by a soothing drink. Yet, the conversation between Jesus and the woman quickly became about a deeper sort of thirst, the yearning for spiritual nourishment. The Israelites fussed about being thirsty, yet their thirst also had a spiritual dimension. Was the Lord with them or not, they wondered? On this Third Sunday of Lent, the elect participate in the first of three scrutinies as they prepare for the living waters of baptism. We share their thirst and open our hearts to the living water that Jesus offers, the water of life, hope, and peace.


Do you feel unsettled or sense that life is about more than the daily details that fill your time, energy, and attention? Are you anxious or worried and yearn for peace? Is there an ache in your heart that longs for relief? The thirst for meaning, purpose, peace, and solace is real. We humans have a tendency to seek relief from such thirst with wealth, material things, or social status, failing to recognize that these things are fleeting. We may distract ourselves with constant activity, keeping ourselves busy and preoccupied rather than allowing ourselves to acknowledge the yearning in our hearts. We fail to see that only Christ can quench our thirst.


It was likely hot in the midday sun on the day that Jesus encountered the woman at the well. Scholars tell us that she must have been shunned by the other women in the community, leading her to avoid the cooler early morning time when others filled their jugs. Add to this that Jews and Samaritans shared longstanding animosity toward one another. No wonder she was surprised and perplexed when Jesus asked for a drink. Yet she did not run away. Jesus sought her out and she opened her heart and mind to his offer of salvation. Jesus seeks us out, too. Our Lord desires that we open our hearts and minds to the fullness of love, forgiveness, mercy, and peace that is only found in God. For what do you thirst at this time? Compassion, justice, consolation? Only Christ can truly quench your thirst. Jesus desires to do so. Open your heart today; “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

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