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The imagery of water is rich in the Liturgy this Third Sunday of Lent. The Israelites express their frustration with their experience of physical thirst as they wander in the desert. A woman comes to a well with her water jay to draw water. Jesus comes to the same well but without a water jar. [Interesting]
In John’s Passion Narrative, as Jesus hangs on the cross, he says, “I thirst.” This thirst is about more than for water. The Lord Jesus desires (thirsts for) us. This is expressed in the Preface for the Eucharistic Prayer today: “So ardently did he (Jesus) thirst for her faith, that he kindled in her the fire of divine love.”
Think about your experience of thirst, including your thirst for God and what is of God. When do you most keenly experience this thirst? How do you experience God’s thirst for you and your faith?
The Liturgy of the Word for this Second Sunday of Lent begins with a snapshot of the story of Abraham. God asks Abraham to go forth from the familiarity of his family and home to a land that God will show him (which God does not specify). Paul reminds us that God has called us from the grip of sin to a holy life. Jesus leads his three close friends from their current sense of who he is to a glorious and transfigured picture of himself.
This journey from something to something else is what the Lenten season is all about. It takes trust, hope, and a willingness to be led by God to undertake such a journey.
Think about God’s opportunity for you this Lent. From what is God calling you? Is it from being stuck, a sense of wandering, being overly comfortable, a kind of restlessness? The other side of the coin is to what is God calling you? Is it greater trust in God, wanting Christ to be more part of your life, hoping to be more led by the Holy Spirit?
Fr. Tom’s Reflection for March 9, 2014:
Growing In Faith, Hope, and Love
“The two elements that are especially characteristic of Lent — the recalling of Baptism or the preparation for it, and Penance — should be given greater emphasis in the liturgy and in liturgical catechesis. It is by means of them that the Church prepares the faithful for the celebration of Easter, while they listen more attentively to God’s Word and devote more time to prayer.”
These words come from the Second Vatican Council document on the Sacred Liturgy (n. 109). They are quoted in the introduction to the Roman Missal. They provide a kind of umbrella for us about the meaning of Lent.
Lent helps us to go deeper into what it means for us to be baptized persons even as some people prepare to be baptized at the Easter Vigil. Lent also helps us to go deeper into conversion and repentance and renewal. The word “Lent” comes from an older English word that means Spring. It is meant to be a time of spiritual and personal growth.
What helps you to appreciate what it means for you to be a baptized believer? How is God nudging you to change for good?