THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
THIRSTING FOR LIFE-GIVING WATERS
Especially during the Lenten, Holy Week, and Easter
seasons, the prayer texts of the Eastern Church revel in
paradoxical images of Christ: the eternal life who is put to
death, the host of the supper who is also its meal, the thirsty
crucified one with living water streaming from his side. These
images flow from the evangelists’ portrayals of Jesus and from
his very ministry, during which he often upset or reversed
people’s expectations about him or the ways of God. This
“reversal” is at play in today’s Gospel, as Jesus speaks to an
enemy foreigner who is also a woman beneath his status. In
addition he, the thirsting one, shows the woman to be the one
truly thirsting. He—whose parched lips will say “I thirst”
before he dies—is the source of life and life-giving water. Lent
calls upon us to dwell on how each of us is thirsting for Christ,
and it leads us, ultimately, back to the life-giving waters of our
baptism into his Body.
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