The Third Sunday of Lent

Ex 17:3-7; Rom 5:1-2 & 5-8; Jn 4:5-42 (year a)

‘Tormented by thirst, the people complained to Moses: ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Was it so that I should die of thirst, me and my children too, and my cattle?’ ”

Hunger and thirst are the powerful biological imperatives that drive our physical survival. Without water, we die. Without God, our inner spirit withers and dies.

Throughout the Scriptures hunger and thirst have come to express a fundamental longing for God. Thus the Scriptures for the Third Sunday of Lent invite us to examine the longings that dominate our lives. What do we thirst for, and where is that thirst leading us?

The Exodus narrative describes a people tormented by thirst, complaining against the God who had led them to destruction. In their thirst they had forgotten the God who had delivered them from slavery and was leading them to freedom. They complained and rebelled. Theirs was a truly desperate plight. We, in our frailty, turn from God to satisfy more superficial longings.

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