Sunday, March 19, 2017 – Third Sunday of Lent
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
Invitations to Understanding, Acceptance, and Conversion
I think this week’s Gospel reading is about an ongoing invitation. Jesus “invites” the Samaritan woman to give Him a drink. It’s an unusual request, not only because one didn’t just speak to a woman that spontaneously, but also because of their different religious traditions. Then if you went along with those traditions, the very cup that she was offering would be unclean. Then they have a theological discussion about the well and the Jewish people who settled in the land. Deepening the conversation, He offers her living water. She is invited to share this knowledge and water with her husband. She hesitates, because as Jesus observes, she has had a few husbands. She says that he must be a prophet and He doesn’t deny it. She goes off with the disarming, yet excited experience of having someone know all about her and not turn her away.
The disciples return and ask Jesus to eat something. He wants to take them realize that His food is to do the will of the Father. He has been refused by talking to the woman and having her know Him as Messiah.
She returns with the town folk who are also invited to believe in Him (and they do.)
This is the story of God’s loving invitation going out to people of different cultures, religions, and even friends who need to understand. We are also invited. We are also asked to channels of God’s love, mercy, and friendship to those who need understanding, acceptance, and a chance to know God.
Father Michael Greene, C.P.