March 12, 2023
3rd Sunday of Lent
FOCUS: If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Just as Jesus approaches the outcast Samaritan woman at the well with intimate knowledge of her history and her heart, so, too, does Christ approach us. He comes with the offer of living water that will forever satiate our thirst if only we soften our hearts to hear his voice.
What's in Your Heart
Have you been in a situation where you felt constrained by established customs or prejudices that seemed unnecessary or unjust to you? How did you react?
Jesus didn’t let such things get in the way of his communicating with a Samaritan woman. Can you draw strength from his example the next time you are faced with a prejudice that is clearly unjust?
When I think about the immigrants that came to North America over the centuries, I wonder if I would have had the courage to be one of them. Sure, they were escaping desperation, but their attempts to build new lives sound scary and hard too. Especially for the pioneers!
It’s mind-boggling to me that I’m descended from some of the very first pioneers who came to this continent from Europe. According to my family genealogy, one of them was a man named Gabriel Barbier, born in what was then New France in 1657. His father was one of the 12 founders of Montreal. Barbier traveled with the French explorer LaSalle on his famous expedition to the mouth of the Mississippi River. They even passed through the Michigan town where I now live, at the mouth of the St. Joseph River, and there’s a monument to them here.
Since humans need water to live, we naturally gravitate to living near water—and sometimes that water upends our lives by carrying us to new worlds beyond imagining. We remember and even mark those places where our ancestors brought us to water—from Jacob’s well to LaSalle’s rivers—where people made leaps of faith, and like the Samaritan woman, discovered new life in them.