Sunday Reflection: 3rd Sunday of Lent (Year A)


There cannot be any life without water. Water forms a large part of who we are as human beings. Without water our plants, animals and human life will disappear. We are reminded of this reality in the first reading from the book of Exodus where, the people in the desert panicked because they lacked water.

God is the source of all life. In the desert, at Massah and Meribah, God stood in front of the rock and, when Moses struck the rock, God provided his thirsty people with water. In his letter to the Romans, Paul reminds us that our faith in Jesus quenches our thirst; in order to save us, Jesus is ready to give up his life for us, sinners! Through our faith in him we are saved!

In the gospel of John is Son of Man (1:51), equal with God (5:18), deserving the same honour as the Father (5:23), bread of life (6:35,51), light of the world (8:12), proceeding from the Father (8:42), the ‘I AM’ (8:58), gate (10:9), good shepherd (10:11), giver of eternal life (10:27-28), one with the Father (10:30), resurrection and the life (11:25), way, truth and life (14:6), true vine (15:1), the one who shared the glory of God before creation (17:5), and the one who knows all things (21:17).

In today’s gospel Jesus is the water that will satisfy our thirst forever, the water that will become a spring welling up to eternal life (4:13-14). Jesus invites the Samaritan woman to trust in him and drink from the water that only he can give her. Am I ready to give my life fully to Jesus and be satisfied with his life-giving water. (Am I ready to be immersed in this life-giving water and be reborn in him every day?)

Joseph De Piro searched for and drank from this life-giving water. His sermons are a sure proof that he constantly nourished himself with the water that is Jesus Christ.

Further Readings:

The incarnate Jesus: ‘God like us’

At the centre of the De Piro’s reflections was the mystery of the incarnation: “All our religious beliefs can be summed up in the presence of God among us.” In another homily he wrote: “Human nature was assumed by divine nature. The former could hardly hide the latter; like a small cloud that tries in vain to blot out the sun. The cloud is illuminated by the sun and its rays spill over the edges of the cloud. When divine nature hid in the assumed humanity of Jesus Christ, his divinity shone through his penetrating eyes and his wonderful words.”

The suffering Jesus: God in solidarity with the poor ones, ‘God with us’

The crucifixion of Jesus was, for De Piro, another moment that revealed God’s presence among us: “On Calvary, the soldier declared: ‘This was truly the Son of God.’ Jesus does not resemble man, let alone God. Yet Thomas Aquinas calls it: ‘The greatest miracle of Christ!’

The Eucharistic Jesus: ‘God in us’

De Piro linked the incarnation to his other favourite theme, the Eucharist. “All the divinity and humanity of Jesus are hidden under the humble form of bread and wine; all silence, no sign of life. Oh, profound mystery! Oh, profound humility!

Jesus with a Sacred Heart: God who loves through his Son, God’s love that saves, ‘God for us’

In one of his sermons the Servant of God asked: “Where did this divine love, come down from heaven, dwell?” He answered the rhetorical question: “It dwelt in the Sacred Heart; the most noble part of human nature united to divine nature… A ship is controlled by its rudder; similarly, the divine heart of Jesus, full of love from heaven, influenced Jesus’ thoughts, words and actions. Not surprisingly scriptures describe Jesus very fittingly: ‘… he passed by doing good… (Acts 10:38).’

Even if Jesus had not been crucified, there would still have been a place for the devotion to the Heart of Jesus: “For our redemption, it would have been enough for the Sacred Heart, by means of the blood that kept the body of Jesus alive, to make it possible for Jesus to do those acts which were at the same time human and divine, since each act of our Lord Jesus Christ had an infinite value. Thus Jesus could have saved us without suffering.”

However, the suffering of the Sacred Heart reveals Jesus’ perfect love: “Jesus would never have agreed to save, even a single drop of blood, that made his divine heart function.”