Today’s Thoughts: “The salvation which God has wrought, and the Church joyfully proclaims, is for everyone. God has found a way to unite himself to every human being in every age. He has chosen to call them together as a people and not as isolated individuals. No one is saved by himself or herself, individually, or by his or her own efforts. God attracts us by taking into account the complex interweaving of personal relationships entailed in the life of a human community. This people which God has chosen and called is the Church. Jesus did not tell the apostles to form an exclusive and elite group. He said: “Go and make disciples of all nations”” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel)
These words from Pope Francis are played out in our Gospel (John 4:5-42) for this Third Sunday of Lent. Jesus joyfully engages the Samaritan woman at the well. He moves her from isolation into the community. Jesus takes into account her struggles, her situation and her relationship to the human community and invites her to be part of the Church. She becomes a proclaimer of the word, an evangelizer.
The readings today talk about change and the struggle we as human being have with change. The Israelites (Exodus 17:3-7) are struggling with the changes in their life. Suddenly the slavery of Egypt doesn’t look so bad compared to a journey through the desert. They are struggling with life outsider their comfort zone, with life that calls them to trust in their relationship with God
The Samaritan woman is struggling in her life, yet she is truthful about it and open to a conversation with God about it. She is challenged to change, to see things differently. Actually all the characters in our Gospel story are challenged to change and see things differently, the woman, the disciples and people of Sychar. The encounter with Jesus will leave them all changed in the end.
Jesus asks them to see water, food, life and God differently, especially God. God is not a person relegated to one place or another, to one mountain, one city, one group of people. God is there for everyone! Yes, sinners are included, thankfully as St. Paul tells us (Romans 5: 1-2, 5-8).
We are challenge to hear the word of God today and be hopeful. Because God is amongst us, all of us and God loves us, all of us!
Have a blessed and holy Sunday afternoon evening everyone!
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...