Third Sunday of Lent
Jesus is the spring of water welling up to eternal life: A prefiguration of our Baptism:
One of the essences of the Lenten Season is to remind us that our life power line comes from God the Father and was made to dwell with us in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The first reading from the Book of Exodus tells us the story of the grumbling and whining among the people of Israel against God and Moses. Moses was so scared of the people’s animosity that he beckoned on God to save him. God then said to Moses, “…Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink.” The lesson we shall explore today is not the lack of gratitude by the ungrateful people, but the readiness of our God to provide for us. Here the water serves many things for the Israelites in the desert – it quenches their thirst, provides then purity of body and environment, and other values. The significance of the water in the midst of Lent is a reminder for our baptism. The ultimate goal of our Baptism is to wash away our original sin, which our fore-parents brought upon us through the human regeneration, which our Lord Jesus has reversed by the blood he spilled on the cross of Calvary. The Gospel of this Sunday brings this water to a higher meaning, when Jesus in the encounter with the Samaritan woman told her that, “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.” This is exactly what our baptism is meant for us to achieve – to fill us with God’s grace and then we become full of the love of God, which is the person Jesus Christ our Lord. Baptism makes us the members of Christ’s body. Saint Paul says that it makes us the adopted sons and daughters of God, which makes us Christians. I do not think that Jesus welled up in us in order to become complacent to our faith or become afraid to pray the grace before meal in a public restaurant? No, I think the spring of water welling up to eternal life is meant to achieve in us the three characteristics: priest, prophet and king. Dear brothers and sisters, let us use this sacred time of the Lenten Season to rekindle these characteristics and help make them part of our spiritual DNA. Amen!
Father Uche Obikwelu