March 19, 2017

Reading 1 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?”

Reading about the Israelites complain makes me cringe because I can’t imagine how rude they sound dissatisfied with what God has blessed them with – an escape from slavery.  I cringe more when I realize this is me.  I complain all the time about the hand with which I am dealt.  I winder why I am placed in this position or why I can’t have it a different way.  Knowing what we know about the Israelites’ future makes it seem silly for them to grumble, but I’m sure when we see our future, we will think our frustrations were silly.  We have to understand that God is always up to something, and it is for our good.  We have to trust that if it is bad, it is not the end.  We should not doubt God but place our hope knowing that our needs will be met. God allowed water to flow from a rock for Moses and the people.  That is impossible yet God did it to show His faithfulness and dedication to His people.  The bottom line is that God provides, and complaining is ignorant and basically telling God we do not believe in His promises.   We have to keep walking through the desert and know that only He will satisfy the thirst.

Reading 2 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.

Hope does not disappoint.  So many things disappoint me, and I hate when I get my hopes up just to be let down.  Hope in Christ is never going to disappoint.  Christ fulfills all hope and died for us at a time when we were sinful.  This statement is always remarkable to me because I think of the things I do for others and know how difficult they can be.  I drag my feet and sometimes regret even saying yes to do it, but I remember they are for people I love and cherish to motivate me to get through.  Don’t we all do favors and tasks for people that are great and help us out just because we are motivated by how awesome they are.  How about those that hurt and wrong us? Are we willing to jump right onto our feet to aid them in situations, or do we ignore them? Maybe we even push them back down.  We want to only help those that help us or that are good to us.  Well Jesus is different.  He helped us not because of what we’ve done but because He is Love.  The love that never fails, never gives up, and never runs out.  We deserved nothing, but
He gave us everything.  We are the reason for His death and put Him on that cross, yet He died in order that we could be close again.  What a different world it would be if we gave out of love instead of because the person earned it.

Gospel Jn 4:5-42

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.”

Jesus was breaking so any barriers by talking to a Samaritan woman.  This was unheard of.  How many times do we break down walls merely to share the good news of Christ?  We must take this example to heart and not care what the barriers are between us and others.  The Gospel is stronger than anything holding us back.  They may be cultural, ethnic, geographic, social, or economic boundaries, but these things are minute compared to the amazing wonders sharing God’s message has to offer.  Who are we avoiding, ignoring, or leaving out? We need to go to those people that are hiding or are just in the dark and bring them out to the light.  Part of our lives should be saving souls and bringing people to Jesus, no matter how different they seem on the surface.  Jesus came for all, and if we are blessed enough to know Him, we must share Him.

 

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