Theme of the Sunday: If You Knew the Gift of God. We have all experienced thirst; we all know what happens to our fields when it doesn’t rain. The first reading and the Gospel speak to us of water. In the desert the people of Israel survived because God provided water for them. In the Gospel Jesus speaks of a new water, a new life that he wants to give us. The second reading shows why we should trust and be joyful because no one will be deprived of this water.

Entrance Antiphon   Cf. Ps 25:15-16
My eyes are always on the Loan, for he rescues my feet from the snare. Turn to me and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor.

Collect
O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness, who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving have shown us a remedy for sin, look graciously on this confession of our lowliness, that we, who are bowed down by our conscience, may always be lifted up by your mercy. Through our Lord. . .

FIRST READING
“Give us water to drink”..(Ex 17.2).
A reading from the Book of Exodus (Exodus 17:3-7)

In those days: The people thirsted for water, and the people murmured against Moses, and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand the rod with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the fault-finding of the children of Israel, and because they put the Lord to the test by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm 95: 1-2.6-7abc.7d—9 (R. cf. 7d, 8a)
R/. O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.

Come, let us ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come into his presence, giving thanks;
let us hail him with a song of praise. R/.

O come; let us bow and bend low.
Let us kneel before the God who made us,
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.   R/.

O that today you would listen to his voice!
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that  day at Massah  in the desert
when your forebears put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.” R/.

SECOND READING          
“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans 5 :1 -2.5-8)

Brethren: Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man — though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
The word of the Lord.

VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL John 4:5-42.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Lord, you are truly the Saviour of the world; give me living water, that I may not thirst. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
“A spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 4: 5 – 42)

At that time: Jesus came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.” The woman said to him, * “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father  in spirit  and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” * Just then his disciples came. They marvelled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, “What do you wish?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the city and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples begged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has any one brought him food?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour; others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.”

Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word, They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.”
The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
Water is an essential element in our world. It is something that humans cannot do without.  In fact, those in the medical field say that 50 to 70% of the human body is make up of water. It is this essential element that Jesus uses to teach a crucial lesson to the Samaritan woman.  She asked Jesus to give her the living water.  After her encounter with Jesus, she was not the same again! In fact, though her, many Samaritans believed in Jesus, not only because of what she said of him, but also because, their own encounter with him.  We too are called to have this personal encounter, a personal relationship with the person of Jesus.  He is the living water that we have to drink to have eternal life.

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL:

Celebrant: Christ is our peace and hope – a hope that “will not leave us disappointed.” With confidence, then, let us pray:

That this Lenten season may be a time of reconciliation within our families and our Church and parish: let us pray to the Lord.

That our city (town), state, and nation may seek to share the wellsprings of our land with the poor and struggling countries of the world: let us pray to the Lord.

That the Churches and communities of the Christian world may look beyond their different expressions of faith and worship God together “in Spirit and truth”: let us pray to the Lord.

That the divorced and separated and couples experiencing difficult times in their marriages may realize anew the presence of Christ in their midst: let us pray to the Lord.

That those who thirst for justice, for compassion and love, for health and happiness, may drink from Christ, the fountain of life: let us pray to the Lord.

That those who have died and those who will return to God during this Lenten season may experience the eternal life of the victorious Christ: let us pray to the Lord.

That God will hear the prayers we now offer in the silence of our hearts

Celebrant: We come before you, O Lord, with open and humble hearts. Give us the vision to seek you in all things, that our lives may be made complete in your joy and made whole in your compassionate love. Hear these prayers which we ask of you in the name of Jesus, our Saviour.

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