Homily For The 3rd Sunday Of Lent, Year A

Come To Christ, The Eternal Living Water

Readings: 1st: Ex 17: 3-7; Ps 94:1-2.6-9; 2nd: Rom 5: 1-2.5-8; Gos: Jn 4:5-42

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, or canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.


“As the deer longs for running stream, so my soul longs for you, my God (Ps 42:1). Today, the holy Mother Church encourages us to come to Christ the Eternal Living Water. She calls us to break all cultural barriers and prejudices to let the eternal living water flow into all hearts.

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Water is an essential requirement for the sustenance of all lives. According to scientific studies, water makes up 60-75 percent of the total body fluid. Hence, complete withdrawal or water extraction from any person will result in death. In the Old Testament, water is a common metaphor for spiritual satisfaction (Is 12, 3)

The first reading of today tells us of the ordeal of the Israelites in the wilderness. After four hundred and thirty years of slavery in Egypt, God came to deliver them (Ex 12, 40). Nevertheless, they grumbled against Moses and, consequently, against God because they were thirsty. God instructed Moses to strike the rock. From it, water came forth. The Israelites drank and were satisfied.

The rock Moses struck, and the water gushed from it allegorically and metaphorically prefigure Christ. He is both the rock of our salvation and our eternal living water. On this third Sunday of Lent, we also need a spiritual drink from the living water that flows from Christ, the Rock of Ages. Hence, we must: “Draw water from the well of salvation” (Ish 12:3) to quench our spiritual thirst this Lenten season.

In the second reading, Paul described how the love of Christ “is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” Here, Paul implicitly mentions water using the verb: “to pour.” He reminds us also of how helpless our life was and could still be without Christ, the Living Water. In other words, Christ made himself the source of our own life through his death.

In today’s gospel, Jesus presents himself to the Samaritan woman as the Eternal Living Water. This underscores the importance of Christ in our life. The lesson from this is that we must not discriminate against people based on their race or culture. Jesus knew quite well who the woman was (a Samaritan) and her life history. However, he approached her for a drink. Jesus aimed to draw her closer to himself, the Eternal Living Water.

By breaking the silence and going against the social customs and prejudices between Jews and Samaritans, Jesus becomes the gift of God to this woman and her people. Like Jesus, therefore, we must be ready to take risks. This is by challenging the unjust rules of social structures and norms. It is by breaking down walls that exclude people and opening up possibilities to others. This is so that they can experience Christ.

Finally, the argument between Jesus and the woman represents the obstacles we must overcome to draw people to Christ, the Eternal Living Water. In other words, they represent the “rational” stubbornness” that society will present to us before they finally yield to the gospel. However, if we are connected to the Eternal Living Water, we shall have a better and more convincing witness without getting weary.

Peace be with you all!



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