Call to worship

In today’s Gospel, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at the well. He listens to her story and transforms her shame to honor. Jesus is ready to give us all life-giving water and to transform us on our Lenten journey.

  • To the point: When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water, she completely misunderstood what Jesus was really asking: to understand the “gift of God” already given to her. What he was offering her was the gift of his very self: the living water that would lead her from chance meeting to divine encounter, from being a woman who attempts to deceive Jesus to becoming one who gives true testimony to “the Christ,” from her expectation of the Messiah to her belief that the “savior of the world” has come. True encounters with Jesus never leave anyone the same.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 4:5-42) to the second reading: This reading spells out explicitly what the “gift of God” is- “the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” The Holy Spirit empowers us to recognize Jesus for who he is and be changed by him.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: How often in daily life do we simply “talk at” one another! Genuine conversation is harder work, or but it opens up encounter with the other and brings life-giving transformation. In fact, transforming encounters with others are encounters with Jesus.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 4: 5-42)

“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.”

Lord, when you declare to a woman at the well
everything about her life,
we think of our own lives as well.
You know each of our ins and outs too,
when we sit and when we stand, when we
yearn for light, love, beauty and peace, for
worship of you in Spirit and truth.
Still, often we remain dry!
Come, Lord Jesus, quench our thirst
for life within your living water.

The First Reading

(Exodus 17: 3-7)

Strike the rock and water will flow from it for the people to drink.

They dragged themselves across the desert
dying of thirst. They had to question,
whether the Lord was still with them.
Yes, God was there, but something
had drained their souls of sight.
So too with us. It can be hard to find God
in these arid days of our lives.
Help us, please.
Be fresh water to our dry days.

The Second Reading

(Romans 5: 1-2, 5-8)

“The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”

Spirit of God, We hope in you.
You never disappoint.
Your love descends on us like rain.
You want us to be graceful gardens.
But our roots need rain!
Please bathe them in your goodness.

Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection