The Pastor’s Thoughts — March 12, 2023, Third Sunday of Lent

March 6, 2023 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“The water that I shall give you will become a spring of eternal life.”

In our first reading from Exodus, we hear of the Israelites putting God to the test as they wandered through the desert. They thirsted for water to drink. However, their physical thirst showed their lack of trust in God. He had led them out of the captivity of slavery in Egypt and parted the Red Sea for them. They were wallowing in self-pity. They were hurting and had anger toward God. Worst of all, they longed to return to slavery in Egypt. The Israelites did not have true “faith and trust” in God.

In our Gospel, the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well could have continued to live in the self-pity and rejection that was her way of life. However, Jesus did not reject her. Jesus saw a woman who had an “insatiable thirst.” He saw a woman who thirsted for love, who had five husbands and currently had another lover. He saw a woman who thirsted for religious truth, what to believe and why to believe it. She had not found anything which satisfied these “insatiable thirsts”; yet she kept searching.

The Samaritan woman talked with Jesus, and went from self-pity, rejection, and thirst, to “faith and trust,” and fulfillment in Jesus. She went from not knowing what to believe and why she should believe, to becoming a disciple of Jesus, knowingly carrying His message to her village. Her village came to trust and believe in Jesus and His gift of eternal life, through the Holy Spirit. The Samaritan woman and her village symbolize the Church, filled by non-Jewish believers in Christ.

How does our “insatiable thirst” lead the rest of us to trust and believe in Jesus’ gift of “living water,” eternal life through the Holy Spirit, during this Lenten Season? We need to make our “daily trip to the well.” We need to come to the well of prayer where Jesus is waiting to satisfy our thirst, as only He can. When He does, we need to thank Him for the gift of His saving friendship, and to promise Him that we won’t let our self-pity cause that friendship to die of thirst.

– Bishop Roy Campbell

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