By Father Peter Wood.
For the Third Sunday of Lent we pause on our pilgrimage toward Jerusalem in order to contemplate Our Lord’s encounter with the Samaritan Woman.
In today’s Gospel the Samaritan woman symbolises someone who was looking for love in all the wrong places. Yet love came to meet her unexpectedly.
The Samaritan woman knew the religious traditions of her people, so she had an idea of the importance of God in her life, yet something had not clicked.
She knew her religion, but she also experienced rebellion in her heart against God’s will regarding marriage, which is why she starts to give Our Lord some attitude. Where does this Jew, and a Jewish man no less, get off talking to her and asking for a drink?
Today’s Psalm reminds us that if we hear the voice of the Lord we must not harden our hearts like the Israelites did. The Samaritan woman’s experiences have hardened her.
In today’s Gospel we see two thirsts seeking each other out. Each one seeks the other in order to satisfy its thirst.
The Lord has a great thirst for our faith and our love. The Samaritan woman has a thirst for real love.
Our Lord today knows he is dealing with a hardened heart frustrated after a long time looking for love in all the wrong places. Therefore he knows when to be tactful, addressing her true thirst, but also blunt, telling her the mistaken ways she tried to satisfy her thirst.
The Samaritan woman has found that for which she was truly thirsting, and has to share the news.
Wells are not meant to be used just once because our thirst for God is continuous in this life. If we neglect that thirst our spiritual life will dry up.