YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF LENT
HOMILY THEME: LIVING WATER
BY: Fr Emmanuel Nwokeji
HOMILY: Welcome to the Third Sunday of Lent in Year A.
When people were filled with wonder, they asked the fundamental question; what is the urstoff or the material source of all things?. In reflection to this question, Thales of Miletus believed that water is the arche of all things. The answer must have been given because of the necessity of water for both humans and other creatures in the world.
Perusing through the first book of the Bible especially the first verses of the first chapter; Gen.1:1-13, water filled every where. On day two of God’s creation, God commended the water to separate. He created the dome which he called the sky as protective layer that overlays the earth and divides the water below from the waters above.
On day three of God’s creation, the waters below the dome or sky were gathered together into one place and dry land appeared. The dry land was called the earth and the place water gathered was called the sea. Water covered 70%, while the earth as dry land covered 30% of the world.
Further more, the earth put forth vegetation; plants yielding seed of every kind and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed. With earthly material man was created….This the basis of the principle of reproduction that marks all life. Water fell from the sky as rain. It passed into seas, lakes etc. and through the bodies of plants and animals; then it returned to the sky to fall again. This is a fixed pattern.
From the above titbit, God created water with allocation. The areas far from the water location we could call desert or wilderness. Today in the Ex. 17:3-7, the people of Israel who had been enjoying the guidance of God in form of column of fire and cloud before their arrival at Rephidim complained that they were thirsty and had no water to drink. They asked for water through distrusted means at Massah and Meriban. They Forgot the sovereign and creative power of God. They doubted the presence of God who separated the waters from the dry land. One good thing about this episode, the people turned against Moses and Moses as a leader did not turned against them but he turned to God in prayer. Thus, God revealed Himself to the people. He is still God and got the whole world in His hands. May God reveal Himself to us in our moments of doubt, difficulty and Rephidim of our lives.
In the Gospel again, Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah. Walking through the hot Judean desert and reached the Samaritan city of Sychar at noon, Jesus was tired and thirsty and sat by the Jacob’s well. A woman came to draw water and Jesus asked for a drink from the Samaritan woman. Here Jesus goes against the Jewish-Samaritan taboos and prejudices and take the initiative of starting am inter religious dialogue with the Samaritan woman. Jesus promised to give her “living water”. What does living water means? Living water refers to moving water, flowing water, water of fountain streams and rivers as opposed to dead water which is stagnant water in the ponds, wells and cisterns. This is true because movement is associated with life.
Jesus did not say He is the living water but He would give the living water. This living water symbolises the Spirit of God. This Spirit is given to the believers which direct us to eternal life and move us to evangelization of the world and bearing witness to God. Inspite of the Samaritan woman’s initial prejudice against Jesus, she was gradually transformed, and she became believer in Jesus the Messiah and an effective missionary who went about proclaiming Jesus to her family and society at large.
As you have come to God the source of living water, a superb teacher who listen with attention and respect, may His dialogue with you provide you and your family with the living water. Accept the word of God and have an abundant life.
Fr Emmanuel Nwokeji is with you.
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