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Sunday, February 27, 2005

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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' mercy for the despised

"God proves His love for us." —Romans 5:8

The Samaritan woman came to Jacob's well at about noon after all the other villagers had come to use the well (see Jn 4:6). She was probably trying to avoid meeting people who despised her. She may have even despised herself and wanted in her self-hatred not to be seen in public.

However, Jesus was already at the well — waiting all by Himself to give amazing revelations to this most unlikely candidate. He spoke to her of God's gift of living water (Jn 4:10), becoming in her "a fountain...leaping up to provide eternal life" (Jn 4:14). After beginning to reveal to her the Holy Spirit and Baptism, Jesus told her that He is the Messiah (Jn 4:26). The Samaritan woman then became an effective missionary, as she led many of her fellow villagers to faith in Jesus (Jn 4:39). Jesus, in His mercy, chose this despised woman to receive some of the greatest revelations ever given. Jesus made her His witness and graced her missionary work with power. God "chose the world's lowborn and despised, those who count for nothing" (1 Cor 1:28).

If your life is such that hardly anyone respects you, if you have ruined your life, you can still have "a future full of hope" (Jer 29:11), for Jesus is "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4). Lord Jesus, have mercy on us.

Prayer:  Father, during this Lent may I enter as never before into the depths of Jesus' heart of mercy.

Promise:  "They told the woman: 'No longer does our faith depend on your story. We have heard for ourselves, and we know that this really is the Savior of the world.' " —Jn 4:42

Praise:  Praise Jesus the all-merciful Son of the Father. Praise Jesus, Mercy incarnate.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries' Lenten Retreat Rich in Mercy — Contemplating the Face of Jesus, will be held March 11-12, 2005. To register or for more information, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004