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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lenten reflection, third Sunday

Scripture readings for today: Exodus 17:3-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-2, 5-8; John 4:5-42

God is very patient and understanding about listening to our complaints. That’s what happened with the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai, who missed the fleshpots of Egypt. But God was attentive to their cries. He commanded Moses to strike the rock, from which flowed living waters.

Surely the Samaritan woman at the well had reason to feel bitter. Her unhappiness with men had made her wary of them. When she arrived at noon to draw water and found Jesus sitting there, she had another reason not to trust Him because He was Jewish.

When Jesus asked her for a drink, her answer was striking: “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”

She had no idea that the Messiah in the person of Jesus was asking her a favor. Jesus went on to say, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

At first she thought living water meant saving frequent trips to the well. But she came to understand that the water Jesus spoke of symbolized the Holy Spirit. Jesus showed her that He understood the depth of her soul, and He gave her the opportunity to become a new person.

During this meeting we see her bitterness and hardness of heart start to dissolve. Jesus wants us to have the same opportunity.

Father John Lavin, C.Ss.R.

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.