The 3rd Sunday of Lent – March 12, 2023
Lectionary Readings: Exod. 17:3-7; Ps. 94:1-2.6-9; Rom. 5:1-2.5-8; Jon. 4:5-42
Theme: The Humility and Justice of God.
The readings of today speak about the justice of God providing us with water that quenches the thirst of both the body and the spirit. Exodus offers us hope when the Lord says in the following verse: “I will be standing there in front of you” providing hope for his people that are thirsty after an enduring journey as it was articulated in the following verses: “then, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “Why then did you bring us up out of Egypt? To have us die of thirst with our children and our livestock?” While the gospel speaks of a different thirst. It is the thirst that God has after the long journey of desolation in our created desert of doubts and poor intimacy toward him. And alas he exclaimed: “Give me a drink.” Ramban on the other hand commented on verse 3 of Exodus saying: “they made their cattle equal in importance to themselves. They said: a man’s beast is as his life. If a man travels on the road and his beast is not with him, he suffers.” It simply resembles the humility that the Lord Jesus showed us. We can recall the action that the Lord did in the parable of the Lost sheep for indeed as Ramban claims ‘a man’s beast is as his life.’ and in order to do the act of saving the lost sheep the Lord lowered himself to our status. Thus showing everyone a unique event that changed human history and continues to affect individuals in the present generation.
The dialogue between the Samaritan woman and the Lord proves something that is critical to the divine persona of Jesus, to his purpose and to his ministry. While it is also interesting to note the comment of Rashi onEx.17:5 “and take with thee the elders of Israel as a witness – that they may see that it is by your agency that the water will come forth from the rock and that people may not say that there had been springs there from time immemorial.” One can in parallel comment that we strike the rock where that eternal water came gushing forth, of which the sons of Eve were the witnesses. Thus allowing us access to the great mercy and glory of God and allowing us once more to have the hope of the ultimate Exodus that is to come, wherein one day we can worship together with the elect in heavenly Jerusalem. For we have witnessed the great works of the Divine, where he clarifies the doubt that our forefathers had after the Exodus of which the son of Israel exclaimed: “Is the Lord in our midst or not?” The Lord then responded with great love by giving us His only Son named Emmanuel. And indeed, low and behold the Lord dwelt among us, he is with us. This event is a living witness how mighty the Lord is, for no one is greater that can accomplish such works not even the prophets and patriarchs not even Moses can do such great perfect humility, by lowering himself like his creation out of love for them. How immense and great his mercy for us is!
For Reflection and Discussion: 1. Am I aware of the humility and justice of God? 2. Have I tried to put my feet in the sandals of my brethren to grasp their thirst for: care, love, justice etc.?
Bibliography: New American Bible Revised Edition (@ 2016) Oxford University Press.
This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Jefferson Philip Jacob Reyes, Philippines, Bat Kol Alumnus: 2018