The Third Sunday in Lent: Year A

Baptismal waters

  • Exodus 17:1-7
  • Psalm 95
  • Romans 5:1-11
  • John 4:5-42

Now sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and born again may continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior. (BCP 307)

Water is a theme running through our lessons today. Literally and figuratively. Despite our complaining and non-comprehension, God continues to provide us “a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

Water does give life. Water can also cause death. In recent years we have seen the power of water – melting snow, torrential rains, swollen rivers, and of course, the power of hurricanes and tsunamis. How can we see the life that water can bring when we have been overwhelmed by images of destruction that have been caused by natural events?

God is in the midst of the chaos. Just as the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness, God was there to provide for them in their time of need. God is present today also – through us and with us – as we reach out in prayer and assistance to the people of Japan. As we reach out to those who hunger and thirst for real food and drink, as well as spiritual food and a liquid that can sustain them through trials and tribulations, joys and jubilations.

Heavenly Father, we do not have the power within ourselves to protect ourselves, inwardly or outwardly. Defend us, we pray, from all the dangers in this mortal life to both body and soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

As biblical scholar Raymond Brown has stated, the “use of the symbol of water shows how realistically John thought of eternal life: water is to natural life as living water is to eternal life.” Today’s Gospel offers us a new way to view water. Through the waters of Baptism, we are made new. And each time we renew our Baptismal Covenant, we are given another chance to renew our commitment to being Christ’s hands and heart in the world.
 

Questions for Reflection:

  • Jesus tells the woman that he will give her “living water.” What do you understand this living water to be?
  • In talking openly with this woman, Jesus overstepped a number of social, cultural, and religious barriers. What are some of the barriers in our own world that we must overcome in order to see Christ in all persons?
Immortal God, Lord Jesus Christ, the protector of all who come to you, the life of those who believe, and the resurrection of the dead: We call upon you for these your servants who desire the grace of spiritual rebirth in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Accept them, Lord Christ, as you promised when you said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Give now, we pray, to those who ask, let those who seek find, open the gate to those who knock; that these your servants may receive the everlasting benediction of your heavenly washing, and come to that promised kingdom which you have prepared, and where you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen. (Prayer for Enrolling Candidates for Baptism. 2003: Book of Occasional Services)
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About Sharon Ely Pearson

Editor and Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing Incorporated
This entry was posted in Lent and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Third Sunday in Lent: Year A

  1. Pingback: Paschal Mystery – Inward Well of Living WaterNew Thought Ministries | New Thought Ministries

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