Third Sunday of Lent - Gospel Meditations and Prayers for Lent
Friday March 21st, 2014
Third Sunday of Lent
"Jesus said to her, "The water that I give will become in those who drink it as spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life."
Among the exhortations that we hear on Ash Wednesday are those to practice self-examination, prayer and meditating on the word of God. The interaction between the Samaritan woman and Jesus can be heard as a model for these practices.
Jesus initiates a conversation with a Samaritan woman by sitting down and asking for a drink of water. Their conversation begins simply, but then spirals deeper and deeper into the heart of who Jesus is and what he wants to give her. Throughout their interaction this woman gradually has her understanding of life transformed and reshaped by that which Jesus offers.
For the woman, life is shaped by her social role (including the heavy work of drawing water), and by the teaching and practices of her culture. For Jesus, life is shaped by his comprehensive experience of human existence and by being the one who at the same time knows and lives God's life - life that is eternal.
Through spending time with Jesus, and allowing herself to examine her life in his presence, the Samaritan woman comes to understand that she may live in a much larger context. She can live her life in the context of eternal life. Her life is reshaped.
The miracle that results from the Samaritan woman examining her life in conversation with Jesus, and engaging honestly and wholly with him, is that she comes to know a new condition for her life - eternal life.
This Lent may our self-examination, prayer and meditating on the word of God (Jesus himself) draw also us to a deeper awareness of the life that Jesus gives, and of its capacity to reshape us.
Loving God, thank you that Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, knows what our lives are like, and for his invitation to enter into a life he knows with you. We pray for your guidance as, through self-examination, prayer and meditation on your word, we come to live the gift of eternal life.
The Rev. Dr. L. Ann Jervis
Professor of New Testament and Advanced Degree Director at Wycliffe College, Ann's academic interests revolve around Paul and Paul's world. She has published three books and several articles on this topic and in the area of women in the early church. Ann is an ordained priest in the Diocese of Toronto and an honorary assistant at The Redeemer, Toronto.