Today the Church celebrates the first of three scrutinies with the Elect and their communities. The scriptures are chosen explicitly to help the Elect as they undergo the final preparations for the Easter sacraments. As early as now, we already know of the Lord’s thirst: “Give me a drink.” (John 4:7) even before we hear him plead for water on Good Friday, “I thirst!” (Jn. 19:28). Exhausted, the Lord asks for water from someone considered outcast and unworthy; a Samaritan and a woman. Jesus engaged her in a conversation even if he knew fully that doing so was going against tradition and courtesies. Jesus’ thirst was more than a parched thirst. He longed to commune with His people.
The Preface of this Sunday’s Mass offers a glimpse of the Savior’s real thirst — asking the Samaritan woman for water to drink, He had already created the gift of faith within her. So ardently did he thirst for her faith that he kindled in her the fire of divine love. In the same way that the Father quenched the thirst of the people who complained against Moses and who even doubted Him due to extreme thirst in the wilderness: “Is the Lord in our midst or not? (Exodus 17:7) Despite the quarrelsome and rebellious spirit of Israel, the Lord God let water gush out of a rock. Today, the Samaritan woman was offered the LIVING WATERS despite her sinfulness and distance from God. Recognizing her own thirst for God and His thirst for her soul, the Lord knew very well the “desert” of her heart that only the waters of Life could revive, making her see the goodness of the Lord and thirst for Him.
The Lord’s promise to her was not momentary satisfaction from thirst but eternal satiation:...”whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become to him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn.4:13) The woman, having experienced the quenching waters of His mercy to her sinful thirst, finally decided to drink of this water: “Sir, give me this water that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw!” (Jn.4:15), that is to accept Him, repent, worship Him in spirit and in truth and proclaim Him to others.
The Lord offers us hope to be alive again when we die in sin, the promise of our baptism. We die in sin by the waters of death but only to rise as new creatures through water and the spirit for the “love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Roman 5:5) This echoes the promise of God through Ezekiel: “I will pour clean water upon you and cleanse you from all your iniquities, and I will give you a new spirit.” (Ezekiel 25-26) – His promise to Israel, to the Samaritan woman and even to us today. The Disciples’ Vocation: Responding to the Call. Jesus’ call is urgent. He does not call people to follow at some time in the future, but here and now – at this moment, in these modern times. There can be no delay. “Go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.... No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks at what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God” (Lk.9:62).
Our Patronal Feast of St. Joseph this week falls on Monday to give way to the 3rd Sunday of Lent. This day is also the beginning of spring time. This weekend we include the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord in our evening Mass. Please be mindful of our Fish Fry on Fridays at St. Joseph Restaurant and the Stations of the Cross after it.
This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.
Your Priest – Servant and Parochial Administrator,