Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent

“Jesus came to the town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, Tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.”
This gospel reading is most beautiful and says many things with a few words. it shows the realness of Jesus. It tells of his humbleness and his humanness. He sits for a rest in his humanity by a well.
By the way.... there is, to this day a shrine at this very well where you can stop and still get a drink of water.
Jesus was wearied from his journey and he stopped at this very well. He was so worn out that he skirts social protocol and speaks to a Samaritan woman and asks her for a drink. At that time in history Jewish men did not do such a thing. The truth was that Jesus had something to give her if she chose to listen. This is were Jesus shines above us... in his weariness he still cares for those who have yet to hear the good news.
This woman was a social outcast so was forced to come to the well at a different time than the customary time when it was cooler, as the other women did. This way she avoids the judgemental stares and gossip of her peers.
Jesus notices all these things, seeing in her eyes the anxiety that comes from an unstable life, but he also sees a spark of sincerity - her rocky path had worn down any false sense of self righteousness or self delusion. Her wounded and suffering heart provides an opportunity for grace, and our Lord putting aside his own suffering, tells her about the Living Water and changes her for ever.
Jesus became human for this very purpose. He knew because of original sin, we could not raise ourselves up to friendship with God, so he lowered himself to our level instead.
The Samaritan women was so overcome with joy at encountering Christ, so eager to spread the news, that she left behind her empty water jar, the very reason she came to the well in the first place.
This is the God that we worship, a God who does not want us living in constant anxiety and fear of failure and rejection. Just like Jesus at the well, he wants us to have peace in the depths of our souls, not anxiety, a peace as firm as a mountain, able to withstand the storms of life and the uncertainty of relationships in this fallen world.
He wants us to have this, so He himself gives it to us.
He wants it so much, in fact, that he was willing to suffer and die on a cross just to show that no matter what we do, even if we crucify him, his love stands firm, like a mountain.
This is St. Paul's point in the second reading, when he writes, ``But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.``
Each one of us here ( young or old) has experienced the mountain-like steadfastness of God`s unconditional interest in our lives, some more, some less ….. that`s why we are here.
We need to embrace this interest that God has in us, we need to build our lives on it...... we are still too dependent on other peoples opinions. We need the knowledge of Gods unconditional and redeeming love in Christ to penetrate every fibre of our being.
To help us with this St.Paul tells us God has sent the Holy Spirit , through whom ``the love of God has been poured out into our hearts.`` We indeed have a reservoir of divine strength and courage in our hearts, established at our baptism and enlarged at our conformation.
So the next time you are warn out and weary, go to the well... and just sit there, he will come.
Amen

2 comments:

Jenny Stevning said...

Thank you! Lovely post.

woodcutter said...

No problem jenny, I am glad you enjoyed it.