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Sunday, March 7, 1999

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Third Sunday of Lent

Exodus 17:3-7
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
Psalm 95
John 4:5-42

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jesus loves the unlovable

"Come and see Someone Who told me everything I ever did! Could this not be the Messiah?" —John 4:29

Meeting Jesus is unlike meeting anyone else. When we meet Jesus, we meet Someone Who loves us more than we have ever been loved by all those who have ever loved us. Jesus loves us perfectly and infinitely.

Also, when we meet Jesus, we meet the Person Who knows everything about us. For example, He knows if we have tried to have five husbands or wives and if the ones we're with now are our spouses (Jn 4:18). Jesus knows our sins and perversities — the things we are most ashamed of or should be the most ashamed of. The Samaritan woman said that Jesus knew and told her everything she had ever done (Jn 4:29).

It is rare to love anyone deeply, even to laying down our lives, "though it is barely possible that for a good man someone may have the courage to die.  It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rm 5:7-8). Jesus knows all the bad things about us, and nevertheless loves us with a crucified love. He loves unconditionally. Deep down, this is what we all want. We want to be loved and to be secure in that love. We want to know that we will always be loved no matter what. Jesus alone meets our deepest human need — to be loved unconditionally. Jesus is Love (1 Jn 4:16).

Prayer:  Father, may the catechumens receiving the Scrutinies today be secure in Your love.

Promise:  "Many Samaritans from that town believed in Him on the strength of the woman's word of testimony: 'He told me everything I ever did.' " —Jn 4:39

Praise:  Praise Jesus, crucified and risen Love! Praise Jesus, Light shining in darkness!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998