Third Sunday of Lent

March 12, 2020

March 15, 2019


Book of Exodus 17:3-7

Psalm 95

Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

John 4:5-42

In 1888 a man was shocked to read the notice of his own death in the newspaper.  It was an error.  However, he was even more shocked to read that the newspaper obituary described him as someone who found new ways to kill people and become rich in doing so.  The headline of the obituary read, “The Merchant of Death is Dead!”  It was true; he was the man who invented dynamite.  That morning he decided to change his life and devote his energies in a new direction in order to work for world peace.  The man was Alfred Nobel.

I believe that early in his life while he was inventing dynamite Nobel was like the woman coming to the well in today’s Gospel.  As we know, water is necessary for life just as dynamite is necessary for construction projects.  At the well the woman met Jesus and he offered her living water.  She was so impressed by Jesus that she left her water jar at the well and went back to the town to tell everyone that she though she had me the Messiah.  She indeed had found the living water and forgot about the water jug at the well.

Alfred Nobel must have had some similar experience the morning he read his own obituary in the newspaper.  It was actually his brother who had died.  Until then he was going to the well to draw water, he was in his own routine of his profession, but the false report of his death touched him deeply inside and he changed direction.

In some kind of way Mr. Nobel must have met Jesus at the well that morning and was offered the living water.  He might not describe it in the way but deep within him it must have something very similar.  He left the townspeople to work for world peace.

What about you and me?  We also have to go to the well everyday with our jar because we live in the world.  But Jesus makes the same offer to us as he did to the Samaritan woman.

What is the living water?  Quite simply we can describe it as “the love of God.” If we don’t receive this living water from Jesus every day, we will look for satisfaction in ways that will never please Him.  Just use the Samaritan woman as an example; she was in her sixth marriage, and counting!  What other “baggage” came with that? 

My final question is the most obvious one of all; how can we receive this living water promised by Our Lord?  In my own case I receive it by my personal prayer life, reading sacred scripture every day, meditation, spiritual direction, the sacrament of reconciliation, daily Mass and reception of the Holy Eucharist.  It is up to you as an individual to join with Jesus in your own way.

Question of the Day:  Are you drinking the living water of Jesus every day?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus we hear and heed yours words; “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst.  The water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  (John Chapter 4) 


Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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