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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 02-27-05
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 02-27-05 | New American Bible

Posted on 02/27/2005 7:15:59 AM PST by Salvation

February 27, 2005
Third Sunday of Lent

Psalm: Sunday 12

Reading I
Ex 17:3-7

In those days, in their thirst for water,
the people grumbled against Moses,
saying, "Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
Was it just to have us die here of thirst
with our children and our livestock?"
So Moses cried out to the LORD,
"What shall I do with this people?
a little more and they will stone me!"
The LORD answered Moses,
"Go over there in front of the people,
along with some of the elders of Israel,
holding in your hand, as you go,
the staff with which you struck the river.
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb.
Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it
for the people to drink."
This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.
The place was called Massah and Meribah,
because the Israelites quarreled there
and tested the LORD, saying,
"Is the LORD in our midst or not?"


Responsorial Psalm
Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.


Reading II
Rom 5:1-2, 5-8

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

And hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.


Gospel
Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob's well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
"Give me a drink."
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
"How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?"
--For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.--
Jesus answered and said to her,
"If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,'
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?"
Jesus answered and said to her,
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water."

Jesus said to her,
"Go call your husband and come back."
The woman answered and said to him,
"I do not have a husband."
Jesus answered her,
"You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.'
For you have had five husbands,
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem."
Jesus said to her,
"Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth."
The woman said to him,
"I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything."
Jesus said to her,
"I am he, the one speaking with you."

At that moment his disciples returned,
and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,
but still no one said, "What are you looking for?"
or "Why are you talking with her?"
The woman left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people,
"Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?"
They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat."
But he said to them,
"I have food to eat of which you do not know."
So the disciples said to one another,
"Could someone have brought him something to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.
Do you not say, 'In four months the harvest will be here'?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment
and gathering crops for eternal life,
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that 'One sows and another reaps.'
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;
others have done the work,
and you are sharing the fruits of their work."

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
because of the word of the woman who testified,
"He told me everything I have done."
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
"We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."

or

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob's well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
"Give me a drink."
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
"How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?"
--For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.--
Jesus answered and said to her,
"If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,'
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?"
Jesus answered and said to her,
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.

"I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem."
Jesus said to her,
"Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth."
The woman said to him,
"I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything."
Jesus said to her,
"I am he, the one who is speaking with you."

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him.
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
"We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."




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For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 02/27/2005 7:16:00 AM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; goldenstategirl; Starmaker; ...
King of Endless Glory Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the King of Endless Glory Ping List.

2 posted on 02/27/2005 7:17:19 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Lent 2005, Prayer, Reflection, Action for All

Reflections for Lent: February 6 -- March 27, 2005

The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting, Almsgiving

3 posted on 02/27/2005 7:18:13 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Some wonderful threads to read and bump!
 

Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]

The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence

The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross

[Suffering] His Pain Like Mine

Lent and Fasting

Ash Wednesday

All About Lent

Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children

4 posted on 02/27/2005 7:18:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

From: Exodus 17:3-17

The Water From the Rock



[3] But the people thirsted there for water and the people murmured against
Moses, and said, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our
children and our cattle with thirst?" [4] So Moses cried to the Lord, "What
shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me." [5] And the
Lord said to Moses, "Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the
elders of Israel; and take in your hand the rod with which you struck the
Nile, and go. [6] Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at
Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, that
the people may drink." And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of
Israel. [7] And he called the name of the place Massah' and Meribah, because
of the faultfinding of the children of Israel, and because they put the Lord
to the proof by saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?"



Commentary:

17:1-7. The severity of desert life (notably hunger and thirst) leads God to
help the Israelites in various ways, all of them full of theological
implications. The miracle of the manna, which was preceded by that of the
water which Moses made drinkable (15:22-25), is followed by a new work of
wonder to do with water: Moses causes water to flow from a rock. This
happened at Rephidim, probably what is now Wadi Refayid, some 13 km (8
miles) from Djébel Müsa.

The sons of Israel's faith in God and Moses has been strengthening little by
little; but they often doubt whether God is there at all (v. 7). They begin
to murmur and to seek proofs of his presence: have they been brought out of
Egypt to die, or to attain salvation? The water which Moses causes to come
out of the rock is a further sign to bolster their faith. This episode names
two places--Meribah, which in popular etymology means "contention",
"dispute", "lawsuit", and Massah, which is "proof', "test", "temptation".
Many biblical passages recall this sin (cf. Deut 6:16; 9:22-24; 33:8; Ps
95:8-9), even adding that Moses himself lacked faith and struck the rock
twice (cf. Num 20:1-13; Deut 32:51; Ps 106:32). Lack of trust in the
goodness and power of God means tempting God and it is a grave sin against
faith--even more so in the case o Moses, who had experienced God's special
love and who ought to have given good example. When man meets some
contradiction or some difficulty he cannot immediately solve, his faith may
waver but he should never doubt because "if deliberately cultivated, doubt
can lead to spiritual blindness" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 2008).

There is a rabbinical tradition which says that the rock stayed with the
Israelites throughout their sojourn in the desert; St Paul refers to this
legend when he says "the Rock was Christ" (1 Cor 10:4). On the basis of
biblical references to the wondrous nature of waters (cf. Ps 78:15-16;
105:4; Wis 11:4-14) the Fathers said this episode prefigures the wonderful
effects of Baptism: "See the mystery: 'Moses' is the Prophet; the rod is the
word of God; the priest touches the rock with the word of God, and water
flows, and the people of God drink" (St Ambrose, "De Sacramentis", 8,5, 1,3).



Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.


5 posted on 02/27/2005 7:24:57 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

From: Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

Reconciliation Through Christ's Sacrifice, the Basis of our Hope



[1] Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ. [2] Through Him we have obtained access
to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing
the glory of God. [5] And (this) hope does not disappoint us, because
God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who
has been given to us.

[6] While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
ungodly. [7] Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man--though
perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. [8] But God shows
His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.



Commentary:

1-5. In this very moving passage God helps us see "the divine
interlacing of the three theological virtues which form the backing
upon which the true life of every Christian man or woman has to be
woven" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 205). Faith, hope and
charity act in us in turn, causing us to grow in the life of grace.
Thus, faith leads us to know and be sure of things we hope for (cf.
Hebrews 11:1); hope ensures that we shall attain them, and enlivens our
love of God; charity, for its part, gives us energy to practise the
other two theological virtues. The definitive outcome of this growth
in love, faith and hope is the everlasting peace that is of the essence
of eternal life.

As long as we are in this present life we do have peace to some
degree--but with tribulation. Therefore, the peace attainable in this
life does not consist in the contentment of someone who wants to have
no problems, but rather in the resoluteness full of hope ("character")
of someone who manages to rise above suffering and stays faithful
through endurance. Suffering is necessary for us, because it is the
normal way to grow in virtue (cf. James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:5-7); that is
why it is providential (cf. Philippians 1:19; Colossians 1:24) and
leads to joy and happiness (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

"A person who hopes for something and strives eagerly to attain it is
ready to endure all kinds of difficulty and distress. Thus, for
example, a sick person if he is eager to be healthy, is happy to take
the bitter medicine which will cure him. Therefore, one sign of the
ardent hope that is ours thanks to Christ is that we glory not only in
the hope of future glory, but also in the afflictions which we suffer
in order to attain it" (St. Thomas Aquinas, "Commentary on Romans, ad.
loc.").

A person who lives by faith, hope and charity realizes that suffering
is not something meaningless but rather is designed by God for our
perfecting. Perfection consists "in the bringing of our wills so
closely into conformity with the will of God that, as soon as we
realize He wills anything, we desire it ourselves with all our might,
and take the bitter with the sweet, knowing that to be His Majesty's
will [...]. If our love is perfect, it has this quality of leading us
to forget our own pleasure in order to please Him whom we love. And
that is indeed what happens" (St. Teresa of Avila, "Book of
Foundations", Chapter 5).

5. The love which St. Paul speaks of here is, at one and the same time,
God's love for us--manifested in His sending the Holy Spirit--and the
love which God places in our soul to enable us to love Him. The Second
Council of Orange, quoting St. Augustine, explains this as follows: "To
love God is entirely a gift of God. He, without being loved, loves us
and enabled us to love Him. We were loved when we were still
displeasing to Him, so that we might be given something whereby we
might please Him. So it is that the Spirit of the Father and the Son,
whom we love with the Father and the son, pours charity into our
hearts" (Second Council of Orange, "De Gratia", Canon 25; cf. St.
Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 102, 5).

6-11. The friendship which reigned in Paradise between God and man was
followed by the enmity created by Adam's sin. By promising a future
redeemer, God once more offered mankind His friendship. The scale of
God's love for us can be seen in the "reconciliation" which the Apostle
speaks about, which took place on the Cross, when Christ did away with
this enmity, making our peace with God and reconciling us to Him (cf.
Ephesians 2:15-16).

The petition in the Our Father, "Forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those that trespass against us", is an invitation to imitate
the way God treats us, because by loving our enemies "there shines
forth in us some likeness to God our Father, who, by the death of His
Son, ransomed from everlasting perdition and reconciled to Himself the
human race, which before was most unfriendly and hostile to Him" ("St.
Pius V Catechism", IV, 14, 19).



Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.


6 posted on 02/27/2005 7:25:54 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

From: John 4: 5-42

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman



[5] He (Jesus) came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field
that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. [6] Jacob's well was there, and so
Jesus, wearied as He was with His journey, sat down beside the well.
It was about the sixth hour.

[7] There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her,
"Give Me a drink." [8] For His disciples had gone away into the city
to buy food. [9] The Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that you,
a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" For Jews have no
dealings with Samaritans. [10] Jesus answered her, "If you knew the
gift of God, and Who it is that is saying to you, 'Give Me a drink,'
you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
[11] The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and
the well is deep; where do You get that living water? [12] Are You
greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it
himself, and his sons, and his cattle?" [13] Jesus said to her, "Every
one who drinks of this water will thirst again, [14] but whoever drinks
of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water I shall
give him become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
[15] The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not
thirst, nor come here to draw."

[16] Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." [17] The
woman answered Him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are
right in saying, 'I have no husband.'; [18] for you have had five
husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said
truly." [19] The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a
prophet. [20] Our fathers worshipped on this mountain; and you say in
Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." [21] Jesus said to
her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain
nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. [22] You worship what
you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the
Jews. [23] But the hour is coming and now is, when the true
worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the
Father seeks to worship Him. [24] God is spirit, and those who worship
Him must worship Him in spirit and truth." [25] The woman said to Him,
"I know that the Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when He
comes, He will show us all things." [26] Jesus said to her, "I who
speak to you am He."

[27] Just then the disciples came. They marvelled that He was talking
with a woman, but none said, "What do you wish?" or, "Why are you talking
with her?" [28] So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the
city, and said to the people, [29] "Come, see a man who told me all that
I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" [30] They went out of the city and
were coming to Him.

[31] Meanwhile the disciples besought Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."
[32] But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."
[33] So the disciples said to one another, "Has any one brought Him
food?" [34] Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who
sent Me, and to accomplish His work. [35] Do you not say, 'There are yet
four months, then comes the harvest'? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and
see how the fields are already white for harvest. [36] He who reaps
receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and
reaper may rejoice together. [37] For here the saying holds true, 'One
sows and another reaps.' [38] I sent you to reap that for which you did
not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

[39] Many Samaritans from that city believed in Him because of the
woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did." [40] So when the
Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them; and He stayed
there two days. [41] And many more believed because of His word. [42]
They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of your words that we
believe, for we have heard ourselves, and we know that this is indeed
the Savior of the world."



Commentary:

4-5. There are two normal routes for going from Judea to Galilee. The
shorter one went through the city of Samaria; the other, which followed
the Jordan, was longer. Jesus took the Samaria route, perhaps not just
because it was shorter and busier but also to have a chance of
preaching to the Samaritans. When He was approaching Samaria, near
Sychar, the present-day El 'Askar, at the foot of Mount Ebal, He met
this Samaritan woman.

6. The Gospels, particularly St. John's, sometimes gives us a little
bit of information which seem irrelevant but really are not. Like us,
Jesus did get tired, He needed to take regular rest, He felt hunger and
thirst; but despite His tiredness He does not waste an opportunity to
do good to souls.

"Recollect yourselves and go over the scene again slowly in your
minds. Jesus Christ, "perfectus Deus, perfectus homo", is tired out
from His travels and His apostolic work. Perhaps there have been times
when the same thing has happened to you and you have ended up worn out,
because you have reached the limit of your resources. It is a touching
sight to see our Master so exhausted. He is hungry too: His disciples
have gone to a neighboring village to look for food. And He is thirsty
[...].

"Whenever we get tired--in our work, in our studies, in our apostolic
endeavors--when our horizon is darkened by lowering clouds, then let us
turn our eyes to Jesus, to Jesus who is so good, and who also gets
tired; to Jesus who is hungry and suffers thirst. Lord, how well you
make yourself understood! How lovable you are! You show us that you
are just like us, in everything but sin, so that we can feel utterly
sure that, together with you, we can conquer all our evil inclinations,
all our faults. For neither weariness nor hunger matters, nor thirst,
nor tears...since Christ also grew weary, knew hunger, was thirsty, and
wept. What is important is that we struggle to fulfill the will of our
Heavenly Father, battling away goodheartedly, for our Lord is always at
our side" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 176 and 201).

7. Jesus has come to save what was lost. He spares no effort in this
mission. The hostility between Jews and Samaritans was proverbial; but
Jesus embraced everyone, He loved all souls and He shed His blood for
each and every person. He begins His conversation with this woman, by
asking a favor of her--which indicates God's great respect for us: here
we have Almighty God asking a mere creature to do Him a favor. "Give
Me a drink": Jesus makes this request not just to share His physical
thirst but because His love made Him thirst for the salvation of all
men. When nailed to the cross He again said: "I thirst" (John 19:28).

9. The Samaritan woman's reply starts the dialogue and shows how well
she is responding to the action of grace in her soul: her readiness to
talk to Christ, who was a Jew, is the first stage in her change of
heart. Later (verse 11), by taking a real interest in what Christ is
saying, she opens up further to God's influence. Her religious
feelings begin to revive ("our father Jacob": verse 12). Jesus rewards
her and she replies truthfully: "I have no husband" (verse 17,
omitted); and, seeing that Jesus has penetrated the intimacy of her
conscience, she makes an act of faith: "I perceive that You are a
prophet" (verse 19).

10. As in His dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus makes use of common
expressions, to get across teachings of a much deeper nature. Everyone
knows from experience that water is absolutely necessary for human
life; similarly, the grace of Christ is absolutely necessary for
supernatural life. The water which can truly quench man's thirst does
not come from this or any other well: it is Christ's grace, the "living
water" which provides eternal life.

Once again, taking occasion of human interests and preoccupations,
Jesus awakes a desire for things supernatural; in the same way as He
led St. Peter and others away from their work as fishermen to involve
them in the apostolic work of being fishers of men, He leads the
Samaritan woman away from her chore of drawing water from the well to
the point where she desires to find this better water which wells up to
eternal life (verse 14).

13-14. Our Lord's reply is surprising and really captures the woman's
attention. Here is something greater than Jacob, someone offering her
water that will quench her thirst once and for all. Christ is
referring to the change worked in every person by sanctifying grace, a
share in God's own life, the presence of the Holy Spirit in the soul,
the great gift which those who believe in Him will receive.

We worry about the future, we are full of desires to be happy and at
peace; a person who receives our Lord and remains united to Him as a
branch to the vine (cf. John 15:4-5) will not only slake his thirst but
become a well of living water (cf. John 7:37-39).

16-19. Although the woman cannot yet realize the deep meaning of what
He is saying, Jesus uses her growing interest to reveal to her His
divinity, little by little: He shows that He knows about her life, the
secrets of her heart; He can read her conscience. In this way, He
gives her enough to motivate her to make her first act of faith: "I
perceive that You are a prophet". Her conversion has begun.

20. The origin of the Samaritan people goes back to the period of the
conquest of Samaria by the Assyrians in the eight century before Christ
(cf. 2 Kings 13:24-31). They were foreigners who very quickly
integrated with the Israelites in the region. After the Babylonian
captivity they tried to ally themselves with the Jews for political
reasons and to contribute to the rebuilding of the temple, but the Jews
would have none of them. From that time onwards the Jews and the
Samaritans were always hostile to each other (cf. Ezra 4:1ff; John
4:9).

On this occasion, the Samaritan woman, now fully aware that she is
speaking to someone of authority, asks our Lord one of the key
questions affecting the religious life of the two peoples: where was
the right place to offer worship to God; the Jews held that only
Jerusalem would do; whereas the Samaritans claimed that the shrine
erected on Mount Gerizim was also legitimate (they based their claim on
some passages in the Pentateuch: cf. Genesis 12:7; 33:20; 22:2).

21-24. Jesus not only answers the question but takes advantage of it to
confirm the value of the teachings of the prophets and thereby reaffirm
revealed truth: the Samaritans are in the dark about many of God's
plans because they do not accept any revelation not found in the first
five books of Sacred Scripture, that is, in the Law of Moses; the Jews,
on the other hand, are much nearer the truth because they accept the
whole of the Old Testament. But both Samaritans and Jews need to open
themselves to the new Revelation of Jesus Christ. With the coming of
the Messiah, whom both peoples are awaiting, and who is the true
dwelling-place of God among men (cf. John 2:19), the new, definitive,
Alliance has begun; and neither Gerizim nor Jerusalem count any more;
what the Father wishes is for all to accept the Messiah, His Son, the
new temple of God, by offering Him a form of worship which comes right
from the heart (cf. John 12:1; 2 Timothy 2:22) and which the Spirit of
God Himself stirs people to render (cf. Romans 8:15).

This is why the Church's solemn Magisterium teaches that through
Baptism we become true worshippers of God: "By Baptism men are grafted
into the paschal mystery of Christ; they die with him, are buried with
Him, and rise with Him. They receive the spirit of adoption as sons
'in which we cry, Abba, Father' (Romans 8:15) and thus become true
adorers as the Father seeks" (Vatican II, "Sacrosanctum Concilium",
6).

25-26. This is the last stage in the Samaritan woman's conversion: she
has come from acknowledging her sins to accepting the true teaching
about worshipping the Father in spirit and truth. But she still has to
recognize Jesus as the Messiah; on this subject she simply confesses
her ignorance. Seeing that she is favorably disposed, Jesus explicitly
reveals that He is the Messiah: "I who speak to you am He".

These words of our Lord are especially significant: He declares that He
is the Messiah, and He uses words--'I...am He"--which evoke the words
Yahweh used to reveal Himself to Moses (cf. Exodus 3:14) and which on
Jesus' lips indicate a revelation not only of His messiahship but also
of His divinity (cf. John 8:24, 28, 58; 18:6).

27. "During the course of His life on earth, Jesus our Lord had all
manner of insults heaped upon Him and was mistreated in every way
possible. Remember the way it was rumored that He was a trouble-maker
and how He was said to possessed (cf. Matthew 11:18). At other times,
demonstrations of His infinite Love were deliberately misinterpreted, and
He was accused of being a friend of sinners (cf. Matthew 9:11).

"Later on He, who personified penance and moderation, was accused of
haunting the tables of the rich (cf. Luke 19:7). He was also
contemptuously referred to as "fabri filius" (Matthew 13:55), the
carpenter's son, the worker's son, as if this were an insult. He allowed
Himself to be denounced as a glutton and a drunkard....He let His enemies
accuse Him of everything, except that He was not chaste. On this point
He sealed their lips, because He wanted us to keep a vivid memory of His
immaculate example--a wonderful example of purity, of cleanliness, of
light, of a love that can set the whole world on fire in order to purify
it.

"For myself, I always like to consider holy purity in the light of our
Lord's own behavior. In practicing this virtue, what refinement He
showed! See what St. John says about Jesus when "fatigatus ex itinere,
sedebat sic super fontem" (John 4:6), wearied as He was from the journey,
He was sitting by the well. [...]

"But tired though His body is, His thirst for souls is even greater. So
when the Samaritan woman, the sinner, arrives, Christ with His priestly
heart turns eagerly to save the lost sheep, and He forgets His tiredness,
His hunger and His thirst.

Our Lord was busy with this great work of charity the Apostles came back
from the village, and they "mirabantur quia cum muliere loquebatur"
(John 4:27), they were astonished to find Him taking to a woman alone.
How careful He was! What love He had for the beautiful virtue of holy
purity, that virtue which helps us to be stronger, more manly, more
fruitful, better able to work for God, and more capable of undertaking
great things!" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 176).

28-30. Grace brings about an amazing change in this woman. Now her whole
thinking centers around Jesus; she forgets what brought her to the well'
she leaves her pitcher behind her and goes off to the town to tell people
about her discovery. "The Apostles, when they were called, left their
nets; this woman leaves her water jar and proclaims the Gospel, calling
not just one person but influencing the whole city" (St. John Chrysostom,
"Hom. on St. John", 33). Every genuine conversion is necessarily
projected towards others, in a desire to have them share in the joy of
encountering Jesus.

32-38. Our Lord uses the occasion to speak about a spiritual form of
food--doing the will of God. He has just brought about the conversion of
a sinful woman and His spirit feels replete. The conversion of souls
must be the Apostles' food also, and the food of all those who through
priestly ordination are sacramentally associated with Christ's ministry
(cf. 1 Corinthians 4:9-15; 2 Corinthians 4:7-12; 11:27-29). Apostolic
work sometimes means sowing, with no apparent results, and sometimes
reaping where others sowed. The Apostles will reap what was generously
sown by the patriarchs and prophets and especially by Christ. And they
in their turn must prepare the ground, with the same generosity, so that
others can later reap the harvest.

But it is not only ministers who have this apostolic role: all the
faithful are called to take part in the work of apostolate: "Since all
Christians have different gifts they should collaborate in the work of
the Gospel, each according to his opportunity, ability, charism and
ministry; all who sow and reap, plant and water, should be one so that
'working together for the same end in a free and orderly manner' they
might together devote their powers to the building up of the Church
(Vatican II, "Ad Gentes", 28).

39-42. This episode shows a whole evangelization process at work,
beginning with the Samaritan woman's enthusiasm. 'The same think
happens today with those who are outside, who are not Christians: they
receive tidings of Christ through Christian friends; like that woman,
they learn of Christ through the Church; then they come to Christ, that
is, they believe in Christ through this report, and then Jesus stays
two days among them and many more believe, and believe more firmly,
that He indeed is the Savior of the world" (St. Augustine, "In Ioann.
Evang.", 15, 33).



Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.


7 posted on 02/27/2005 7:27:32 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Third Sunday of Lent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Exodus 17:3-7
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
John 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19-26, 39-42

Simplicity is nothing but an act of charity pure and simple, which has but one sole end - that of gaining the love of God. Our soul is then truly simple, when we have no aim at all but this, in all we do.

 -- St. Francis de Sales


8 posted on 02/27/2005 7:34:01 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Collect:
Father, you have taught us to overcome our sins by prayer, fasting, and works of mercy. When we are discouraged by our weakness, give us confidence in your love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

February 27, 2005 Month Year Season

Third Sunday of Lent

"Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The women said to him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."

The Station is in the basilica of St. Lawrence outside the walls. The name of this, the most celebrated of the martyrs of Rome, would remind the catechumens that the faith they were about to profess would require them to be ready for many sacrifices. In the primitive Church, the third Sunday in Lent was called Scrutiny Sunday, because it was on this day that they began to examine the catechumens, who were to be admitted to Baptism on Easter night.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Book of Exodus 17:3-7. The Israelites, the Chosen People of God, were suffering slavery and the threat of total extermination in Egypt; God miraculously set them free and, with Moses as their leader, he led them towards the promised land of Canaan. But they soon forgot what God had done for them and began to murmur and rebel because of the difficulties of the long desert journey. One of these rebellious murmurings is put before us today.

The second reading is from the St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 5:1-2; 5-8. This brief section is an encouragement to all who have been given the gift of the Christian faith to persevere in spite of adversity.

The Gospel is from St. John 4:5-42. In the first reading today, we saw the Israelites rebelling against God and calling him a murderer, because they thought they were in danger of dying of bodily thirst in the desert. He mercifully forgave their blasphemies and gave them an abundance of water. In the gospel just read. Christ tells the Samaritan woman, and through her all mankind, that the "spiritual drink" he has come to give men is not primarily given to preserve bodily life, but rather to give eternal life to those who will drink of it. Not only will they know and serve the true God in this life, but they will be given a right to an everlasting life with God if they serve him "in spirit and in truth" during their earthly life.

This is the kernel, the essence of our Christian religion. In baptism we have been made sons of God, heirs of heaven, and directed towards our eternal destination. Christ, in his divine mercy, has given to his Church all the means and all the helps we need on that journey. We have the road-maps clearly drawn for us in the infallible, dogmatic and moral teaching of the Church. We have the first-aid stations along the route, where those who injure themselves by sin, can be medicated and made sound once more. We have, above all, the miraculous nourishment of the Eucharist—the manna of the New Testament Christ himself, who so lovingly and condescendingly arranged to be our spiritual food and sustenance during life's journey.

Could even God have done any more for us in order to bring us to heaven? Can there exist a thinking Christian who would be so neglectful of his own true and lasting welfare—not to mention the ingratitude to the one who has done so much for him—that he would ignore the divine guidance and graces given him, and be content to sit by the wayside in spiritual rags and misery? It is almost unthinkable that such a man could exist. — Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle A, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.


9 posted on 02/27/2005 7:43:14 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

10 posted on 02/27/2005 7:48:29 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Catholic Exchange

by Fr. John De Celles

Other Articles by Fr. John De Celles
Leave Sin at the Well
02/26/05


"I thirst." Jesus said these words from the Cross, and He probably said them as He came out of His 40 days in the desert. And He also probably said them to Himself in the scene recorded in today’s Gospel text, as, tired from His long journey, He sat down by a well in the midday sun.

But, while Jesus’s thirst was genuine and physical in each of these cases, His was also a spiritual thirst that came from being surrounded by sin — from entering into sinful human life, the life of those who had been cast out of the lush Garden of Eden into the starkness of the barren desert wasteland of sin. It is not His thirst, since it is not His sin, but He accepts it as His own.

Thus spiritually parched He encounters someone who has contributed greatly to His thirst: A woman who comes out at the hottest time of the day because she wants to be alone — she is an adulteress, a notorious sinner both spurned by others and afraid of their animosity.

And yet this is exactly why Jesus is here — He’s come specifically to meet her, because she is a sinner. And Jesus deals with her the way He deals with all sinners. First, He goes someplace He knows sinners will be. Just as He would go to dinners with tax collectors, He goes to the Samaritan well in the middle of the day to meet this outcast adulteress. And as He does with all sinners, like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, He patiently waits for her to come to Him. And when she approaches, just as He directly challenges the hypocritical Pharisees, He almost immediately confronts her with her sins: "You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.' For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband."

Still, as always, He treats each person uniquely and does whatever is necessary to help the particular sinner. So while the temple money-changers required a whip to recognize their sins, this broken, lonely woman needs a gentle but clear voice to help her to recognize hers.

It’s incredible; all Jesus does just to save sinners. He comes seeking us, suffers for our sins, waits patiently for us, tells us the truth and approaches each of in the way best suited for us personally.

Yet even all this isn’t enough to win sinners back. Because He also gives us and respects our free will, our freedom to choose. Since Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden so many have chosen to be satisfied temporarily with pleasures of the world, and die in sin, rather than accept the love and grace of God and live forever.

And so it is with the woman at the well. Unlike Eve before her, and rejecting her own former life, she now chooses well and repents. So that while before, she carried her empty jar as a sign of her dependence on the pleasures of the world, now Scripture tells us: "The woman left her water jar and went into the town." Now leaving her sins behind, she’s not afraid to run to her neighbors and share the good news that she has found the Messiah.

The choice might seem simple and obvious to us. But if it’s so easy, why do you and I have such a hard time imitating her? Why don’t we admit our sins to Christ, and then leave them like an empty water jar and run out and tell the good news to our neighbors? This Lent we must choose: to thirst in sin, or to drink deeply of the life-giving waters of Jesus Christ.


Fr. De Celles is Parochial Vicar of St. Michael Parish in Annandale, Virginia.

(This article courtesy of the
Arlington Catholic Herald.)


11 posted on 02/27/2005 7:55:10 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation


A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."

12 posted on 02/27/2005 9:20:15 AM PST by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY to 2008 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Salvation
Jn 4:5-42
# Douay-Rheims Vulgate
4 And he was of necessity to pass through Samaria. oportebat autem eum transire per Samariam
5 He cometh therefore to a city of Samaria, which is called Sichar, near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. venit ergo in civitatem Samariae quae dicitur Sychar iuxta praedium quod dedit Iacob Ioseph filio suo
6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour. erat autem ibi fons Iacob Iesus ergo fatigatus ex itinere sedebat sic super fontem hora erat quasi sexta
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria, to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give me to drink. venit mulier de Samaria haurire aquam dicit ei Iesus da mihi bibere
8 For his disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. discipuli enim eius abierant in civitatem ut cibos emerent
9 Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: How dost thou, being a Jew; ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. dicit ergo ei mulier illa samaritana quomodo tu Iudaeus cum sis bibere a me poscis quae sum mulier samaritana non enim coutuntur Iudaei Samaritanis
10 Jesus answered and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God and who he is that saith to thee: Give me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. respondit Iesus et dixit ei si scires donum Dei et quis est qui dicit tibi da mihi bibere tu forsitan petisses ab eo et dedisset tibi aquam vivam
11 The woman saith to him: Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep. From whence then hast thou living water? dicit ei mulier Domine neque in quo haurias habes et puteus altus est unde ergo habes aquam vivam
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank thereof, himself and his children and his cattle? numquid tu maior es patre nostro Iacob qui dedit nobis puteum et ipse ex eo bibit et filii eius et pecora eius
13 Jesus answered and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever. respondit Iesus et dixit ei omnis qui bibit ex aqua hac sitiet iterum qui autem biberit ex aqua quam ego dabo ei non sitiet in aeternum
14 But the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting. sed aqua quam dabo ei fiet in eo fons aquae salientis in vitam aeternam
15 The woman said to him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw. dicit ad eum mulier Domine da mihi hanc aquam ut non sitiam neque veniam huc haurire
16 Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. dicit ei Iesus vade voca virum tuum et veni huc
17 The woman answered and said: I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well: I have no husband. respondit mulier et dixit non habeo virum dicit ei Iesus bene dixisti quia non habeo virum
18 For thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. This, thou hast said truly. quinque enim viros habuisti et nunc quem habes non est tuus vir hoc vere dixisti
19 The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. dicit ei mulier Domine video quia propheta es tu
20 Our fathers adored on this mountain: and you say that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore. patres nostri in monte hoc adoraverunt et vos dicitis quia Hierosolymis est locus ubi adorare oportet
21 Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe me that the hour cometh, when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, adore the Father. dicit ei Iesus mulier crede mihi quia veniet hora quando neque in monte hoc neque in Hierosolymis adorabitis Patrem
22 You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know. For salvation is of the Jews. vos adoratis quod nescitis nos adoramus quod scimus quia salus ex Iudaeis est
23 But the hour cometh and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him. sed venit hora et nunc est quando veri adoratores adorabunt Patrem in spiritu et veritate nam et Pater tales quaerit qui adorent eum
24 God is a spirit: and they that adore him must adore him in spirit and in truth. spiritus est Deus et eos qui adorant eum in spiritu et veritate oportet adorare
25 The woman saith to him: I know that the Messias cometh (who is called Christ): therefore, when he is come, he will tell us all things. dicit ei mulier scio quia Messias venit qui dicitur Christus cum ergo venerit ille nobis adnuntiabit omnia
26 Jesus saith to her: I am he, who am speaking with thee. dicit ei Iesus ego sum qui loquor tecum
27 And immediately his disciples came. And they wondered that he talked with the woman. Yet no man said: What seekest thou? Or: Why talkest thou with her? et continuo venerunt discipuli eius et mirabantur quia cum muliere loquebatur nemo tamen dixit quid quaeris aut quid loqueris cum ea
28 The woman therefore left her waterpot and went her way into the city and saith to the men there: reliquit ergo hydriam suam mulier et abiit in civitatem et dicit illis hominibus
29 Come, and see a man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not he the Christ? venite videte hominem qui dixit mihi omnia quaecumque feci numquid ipse est Christus
30 They went therefore out of the city and came unto him. exierunt de civitate et veniebant ad eum
31 In the mean time, the disciples prayed him, saying: Rabbi, eat. interea rogabant eum discipuli dicentes rabbi manduca
32 But he said to them: I have meat to eat which you know not. ille autem dixit eis ego cibum habeo manducare quem vos nescitis
33 The disciples therefore said one to another: Hath any man brought him to eat? dicebant ergo discipuli ad invicem numquid aliquis adtulit ei manducare
34 Jesus saith to them: My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, that I may perfect his work. dicit eis Iesus meus cibus est ut faciam voluntatem eius qui misit me ut perficiam opus eius
35 Do not you say: There are yet four months, and then the harvest cometh? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and see the countries. For they are white already to harvest. nonne vos dicitis quod adhuc quattuor menses sunt et messis venit ecce dico vobis levate oculos vestros et videte regiones quia albae sunt iam ad messem
36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. et qui metit mercedem accipit et congregat fructum in vitam aeternam ut et qui seminat simul gaudeat et qui metit
37 For in this is the saying true: That it is one man that soweth, and it is another that reapeth. in hoc enim est verbum verum quia alius est qui seminat et alius est qui metit
38 I have sent you to reap that in which you did not labour. Others have laboured: and you have entered into their labours. ego misi vos metere quod vos non laborastis alii laboraverunt et vos in laborem eorum introistis
39 Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in him, for the word of the woman giving testimony: He told me all things whatsoever I have done. ex civitate autem illa multi crediderunt in eum Samaritanorum propter verbum mulieris testimonium perhibentis quia dixit mihi omnia quaecumque feci
40 So when the Samaritans were come to him, they desired that he would tarry there. And he abode there two days. cum venissent ergo ad illum Samaritani rogaverunt eum ut ibi maneret et mansit ibi duos dies
41 And many more believed in him, because of his own word. et multo plures crediderunt propter sermonem eius
42 And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard him and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world. et mulieri dicebant quia iam non propter tuam loquellam credimus ipsi enim audivimus et scimus quia hic est vere salvator mundi

13 posted on 02/27/2005 7:11:14 PM PST by annalex
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To: Salvation

Continued prayers offered for the recovery and comfort of Pope John Paul II.


14 posted on 02/27/2005 7:12:24 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Salvation

The woman at the well was a true evangelist. She spread the message one on one, to those whom she knew, and their acquaintance with her made them receptive to hearing the gospel story.


15 posted on 02/27/2005 7:21:36 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: annalex
dicit ei Iesus da mihi bibere

Here Christ, while knowing the woman's past, the present state of mind, and her upcoming conversion, asks her to do work for him. The complex relationship between work, faith, and grace in a Christian life is explained here perfectly.

16 posted on 02/27/2005 7:22:20 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex

Prayers for that missing child "Jessie" in Florida, kidnapped from her home, may she return safe to her family.


17 posted on 02/27/2005 7:29:06 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Salvation; Alouette

"because salvation is from the Jews"

Jesus setting the record straight by telling a Samaritan pagan woman from where salvation comes.


18 posted on 02/27/2005 7:42:04 PM PST by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: Smartass

Inspiring painting (Post 12).


19 posted on 02/27/2005 7:42:24 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Coleus

"Catholic Culture" reading bump.


20 posted on 02/27/2005 8:05:13 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Salvation

Lenten ping.


21 posted on 02/27/2005 8:18:00 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Ciexyz
Thank you...

It's part of Salvation's posting of:
"Gospel
Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42"
22 posted on 02/27/2005 8:58:37 PM PST by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY to 2008 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: All
Homily of the Day


Homily of the Day

Title:   What Is That Thirst Telling You?
Author:   Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.
Date:   Sunday, February 27, 2005
 


John 4:5-42

A couple of strangers were visiting a dusty little town in the back country of west Texas. It was hard-shell Baptist country: No drinkin' and no dancin'! But these two were strangers, so they asked a cowboy where they might get a drink.

"In this town," said the cowboy, "they use whiskey only for snakebite." Then he added slyly, "There's only one snake in town. So you better get in line before it gets worn out!"

Some thirst — to hug a snake!

The woman at the well had a mighty thirst, a thirst so big it led her through five husbands and who knows what else. And still she was thirsty — though she couldn't quite put her finger on what it was she was longing for.

Jesus could see her sadness, so He helped her see what that dry, parched, empty feeling inside her was really about: She was thirsting for love that would last, love that would fill her full and give purpose to her life.

Nothing less would do.

By His kindness to her, as well as by His words, Jesus showed her where that kind of love is to be found. He showed her, and her heart caught fire.

We all have a mighty thirst, like the woman at the well, a thirst for a love so big that it can give purpose, and shape, and meaning to the whole of our lives. We've looked for that love in all sorts of places, often in dead-end streets. At times we've caught a glimpse of it and then got distracted and let it slip away.

But God is infinitely patient with us, and this restless thirst we feel — at times so painfully — is His gift, calling out to us, calling and calling, protecting us from settling for anything less than Himself at the center of our lives.

For He alone is big enough to fill us full. He alone can give purpose to our lives. He alone can bring us living water — joy that lasts forever. He alone! He alone!

Listen to His call inside you. Hear it, and say "Yes!"

 


23 posted on 02/27/2005 10:01:36 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
 
 
 

February 27, 2005    Third Sunday of Lent

 Reading I (Exodus 17:3-7)   Reading II (Romans 5:1-2, 5-8) 

Gospel (St. John 4:5-42)

 In the first reading today, we hear about the people of Israel when they are out in the desert. They are standing in front of Mount Sinai and they have no water, and because they are thirsting and afraid that they might die in their thirst, they begin to grumble against God. The Lord not only provided the water for them (as, of course, He was going to anyway), but He speaks later on about what happened at Meribah and Massah. He tells us that the people tested Him, though they had seen all of His works. They had seen the plagues, they had seen the sea opened up and the people walk through and the Egyptians killed, they had seen the manna that they had received in the desert, and still they refused to trust in God. So some fifteen hundred years later from that, when King David wrote his psalms, the Holy Spirit inspired him to put into Psalm 95 this particular point, and that is that God says, At Meribah and Massah they tested me and provoked me, although they had seen all of my works. So I swore in my anger, “They shall never enter into my rest.” The Church begins every single day by reciting that psalm. Every priest throughout the world, every religious, any layperson who prays the Breviary, that psalm is on their lips 365 days a year to remind us that we have to trust in God and that we are not to grumble against Him.  

Yet if we look into our own hearts, how many times have we grumbled against God. When things do not go the way that we want them to, when something happens that is unpleasant for us, rather than accepting it, or rather being like the saints and rejoicing in it, we grumble, we complain, we get angry with the Lord. Yet we know that these people out in the desert, when they grumbled against God, were punished. They were punished by not entering into the Promised Land and not entering into the rest, the Sabbath rest of eternity, that God has prepared for those who love Him.  

Now when we look again at our own selves, we live in such a cushy society that the slightest little problem gets us grumbling against God. I think that we need to be pretty clear with what is going on. The time is upon us when things are going to get very bad externally. We have begun to see some of the things, and they have only just begun. We need to do exactly what Saint Paul reminds us in the second reading, to put into practice our faith – which is purely a gift from God – and faith is going to find its expression, as he tells us, in hope and in charity. We have our hope in Jesus Christ and in the promises that Our Lord has made us. It is there that we need to look because if we look at the world around us, or if we focus on ourselves, we are going to go down and we are going to complain against God. 

If we look at the circumstances that we have seen recently, for instance, the tsunami over in Asia, the pagans in the media have tried to use that to undermine people’s faith. “If there is a God,” they said, “how would He possibly allow something like this to happen? Two hundred thousand people dead! Obviously, God must not be a merciful God. There can’t be a God.” Well, to the pagan media, I say simply, “Hang on, because you haven’t seen anything yet!” Things are going to get very bad. If you just think about what is going on, if you want to look at the mercy of God for a moment, ask yourself how many babies we have to kill before God’s mercy is filled. Four thousand a day in America, and we are far from the worst. In Russia right now, the average woman has had between 8 and 10 abortions – the average! One of the priests from Russia was sitting at our dining room table. He told us about a woman who came in who had had 42 abortions, and then she was angry at God because she could not get pregnant! In the Low Countries, 50% of all the babies are aborted. So how many billions of babies have we killed around the world? In China, they are forcing abortions because they allow only one child. In India, now they have begun to do the same. And then we sit back and try to suggest that God is not merciful. 

The justice of God is upon us. His mercy has been extended and extended and extended even further. Now it is time for the justice of God, which is the same as His mercy, because this world needs to be purified. In Scripture, one of the sins that cries out to heaven for vengeance is the shedding of innocent blood, and one cannot get any more innocent than a baby. The pagans in the media who want to scream about 200,000 people dying in the lands where they have child prostitution and child pornography beyond any other in the world do not bat an eyelash when it comes to killing babies. We need to recognize the reality of what is happening and then we need to look at what we have to do. 

In the Gospel reading today, the Samaritan woman recognizes Who Jesus is, and He acknowledges directly that He is the Messiah. The people of this Samaritan town understand Who He is, and they say to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your testimony, we have heard for ourselves.” The Holy Spirit, Saint Paul said, has been poured forth into our hearts. That is the spring of living water that Jesus speaks of, the grace of God given to each one of us. So we have faith, we have hope, we have charity placed within us. The question is, are we practicing it? Can we say with those Samaritans that we know Who Jesus is? I think we will all say it, but what do we do about it? Do we put our faith into practice? With the things that are coming upon this world, and coming very soon, the only way we are going to make it is to put that faith into practice. Otherwise, what is going to happen is that if we take our eyes off of Jesus we will grumble against God and we will be lost. 

What matters – and all that matters – is that we remain in the state of grace, that our hearts, which are harder than the rock at Horeb that Moses struck to get water out of, the hardness of our stony hearts has to break. We have become so immune to the evil around us that we just shrug our shoulders and we do not even care. It is more important to us that we have comfort, that we have entertainment, that Satan’s box in the living room continues to fill our heads with garbage. That is what seems more important to us in America, and even to Catholics in America. That is far more important to us for some odd reason than the Lord Himself. I have told you before and I will tell you again: There is only one way that we are going to survive, not even survive physically, but survive spiritually. It does not matter if you live or die; all that matters is that you are in the state of grace so you can go to heaven.  

There is only one way that this is going to happen, and that is if we are deep in prayer – deep in prayer. Not one single person, from the Holy Father in Rome to the newborn baby, will be able to do this on their own. None of us has the strength to be able to survive what is coming. Only by the grace of God will a few survive to begin things all over, to see the new springtime that our Holy Father keeps talking about. Our Lady told us at Akita, which is the last fully approved apparition, approved even by the Vatican, that fire will fall from the sky killing the greater part of humanity and every single person in the state of mortal sin will die and many in the state of grace will die. It will be indiscriminate; priests and the people, it does not matter. What matters is that you are in the state of grace. That will be the culminating point, but there is much that is going to happen before that.  

If we are not going to grumble against God like the people in Israel, then we had better have our focus on God that the faith that we profess in Jesus Christ, the hope that we proclaim in the promises of Christ for eternal life, and the charity of God, the love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us so that it will well up to eternal life, need to be put into practice. Again, I tell you: If you are not spending time in prayer, you will not make it. I do not know how I can be more clear. Jesus is right here in the Blessed Sacrament 24 hours a day, and Catholics run the other direction. We watch Satan’s box instead of the Lord’s box. “The tabernacle,” as Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “is my TV set. It is that box that I like to sit and watch.” What about us? To whom do we listen? To the voice of the devil filling our heads with his lies? or to the voice of God? The choice is ours. The Holy Spirit has been given to each and every one of us, poured forth into our hearts; all we have to do is listen to Him, to follow Him. There are two spirits: the Holy Spirit and the unholy spirit. The choice is very clear. One likes to make everything sound fun and lead us to condemnation for eternity. The other leads us to the Cross and eternal life. The choice is ours.

 *  This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.


24 posted on 02/27/2005 10:05:21 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
The Word Among Us


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Meditation
John 4:5-42



Jesus was weary and thirsty when he stopped at Jacob’s well in the middle of the Judean desert. He had nothing to draw up the water, so he waited for someone to come. The first person who showed up was a Samaritan woman whose loose lifestyle caused her to be shunned by her neighbors. Seeing this woman, Jesus did the unthinkable. He offered her “living water” that had the power to cleanse her and make her whole. Somehow, Jesus gave her such an incredible thirst for God that she couldn’t refuse. No one had talked to her like that before.

What is this life-changing water? St. Hippolytus explains: “This is the water of the Spirit. . . . It is the water of Christ’s baptism; it is our life. If you go with faith to this renewing fountain . . . you cease to be a slave and become an adopted son; you come forth radiant as the sun and brilliant with justice; you come forth a son of God and fellow-heir with Christ” (On the Epiphany).

The beauty of this water of life is that it is constantly flowing. From the moment we were baptized into it, that water is available to us every day. And it’s a good thing, too! As challenging as it is to live in this world—as much as sin and temptation threaten to make us feel parched, it’s comforting to know that we can be refreshed every time we turn to the Lord.

The amazing thing about drinking Jesus’ water of life is that even as he quenches our thirst, he also mysteriously increases our thirst. It’s like drinking a fine wine. One sip so ignites your senses that you want to take another. Jesus’ love is so satisfying that we want to drink it in as much as we can. It’s as if we can never get enough of it. May we never stop drinking from the fountain of living water! For there alone is where we will find the healing and refreshment we so desire!

“Thank you, Lord, for your invigorating water of life! At Mass today I want to drink deeply in faith and surrender.”


25 posted on 02/27/2005 10:17:44 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 

<< Sunday, February 27, 2005 >> Third Sunday of Lent
 
Exodus 17:3-7
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
Psalm 95
John 4:5-42
View Readings
 
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.
 

26 posted on 02/27/2005 10:49:30 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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