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Sunday, March 3, 2002

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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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water-works

"Whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty; no, the water I give shall become a fountain within him, leaping up to provide eternal life." —John 4:14

One of Jesus' most frequent subjects of conversation is water. He began His public ministry baptized in the water of the Jordan (Mt 3:16). In John's Gospel, Jesus' first miracle was the changing of water into wine (Jn 2:7ff). Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be begotten again of water and Spirit (Jn 3:5). Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman about living water (Jn 4:10). He promised that anyone who thirsts should come to Him (Jn 6:35; 7:37), for from within Him rivers of living water shall flow (Jn 7:38). One of Jesus' last words on the cross was: "I thirst" (see Jn 19:28). Immediately after His death on Calvary, Jesus' body had the final word on water when from His pierced side blood and water flowed (Jn 19:34).

When Jesus spoke of water, He was referring or alluding to the waters of Baptism. However, like the Samaritan woman, many of us miss Jesus' point. But hopefully, like the Samaritan woman, we will eventually understand Jesus, renew our baptismal promises, and live our Baptisms to the full. "Are you not aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Through baptism into His death we were buried with Him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life" (Rm 6:3-4). Through this Lenten fast, prepare to renew your baptismal promises on Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday. "Come to the water" (Is 55:1).

Prayer:  Father, may I never be unfaithful to my baptismal promises. May I never get in the worst possible human condition (2 Pt 2:20).

Promise:  "This hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us." —Rm 5:5

Praise:  Praise the crucified and risen Jesus, Who baptizes us in the living waters of the Holy Spirit! (Mk 1:8; Jn 7:38-39)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001


Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001