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Never Forget

The woman said to Him, 'I know that the Messiah is coming '...Jesus said to her, 'I am He
Exodus 17:3-7; Psalm 95:1-2,6-9; Romans 5:1-2,5-8; John 4:5-42

Sermon Week Third Sunday of Lent Cycle A

Scripture Summary John 4:25,26

A national magazine ran a story that began with a picture of a man lying prostrate on subway stairs. This was followed by a series of images taken for thirty minutes. The photos showed hundreds of people walking by the man still lying on the stairs, looking down on him and none offering a helping hand. Then followed the magazine's editorial comment about the lack of caring and compassion in today's world. What was left unsaid -- perhaps forgotten -- was that the magazine's photographer did nothing to help the distressed man. Like the cold crowds who were passing by, rather than treating the unfortunate man with compassion and respect, the photographer just went about his business, snapping pictures.

Today's Gospel Lesson is the familiar story of the Samaritan woman at the well. As the story unfolds, Jesus has made a tiring journey and is alone by a well to which the nearby village dwellers come for water. He has sent His Apostles ahead to pick up supplies and He is awaiting their return. A woman comes to draw some water from the well, and a conversation starts up between her and Jesus. Jesus is thirsty after his journey over the last few hours, but he has nothing with which to draw water from the well. So, he addresses the woman: "Give me a drink."

The remark seems simple enough, but it surprises the woman. She reminds Him that He is a Jew, and Jews don't talk to Samaritans. A wall of hatred stood between these joint descendants of Abraham. Each group accused the other of being unfaithful to God, and each condemned all contact with members of the other group. Nevertheless, Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman and even asks a service of her.

They talk, and Jesus speaks to her of "living water." He says, "Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman is intrigued. "Sir, give me [...]


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