THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
FROM ST. AUGUSTINE HIGH SCHOOL
March 19-25, 2017
Water is essential both for the physical, as well as, spiritual well being. This Sunday’s Scripture uses this image to illustrate the importance of “life giving water.” Even, World Water Day, March 24, falls this week. In Exodus 17: 3-7 the Israelites grumbled against Moses and God. In their escape from Egypt it seemed to them that they had come to a worse place – no water. “Is the Lord in our midst or not?” This lament is heard today; even we ourselves have uttered it sometime in our lives. God stood on the rock, as Moses struck it with his staff. Water gushed forth. God stands in the midst of our rocky places, too. He will provide what we need, though, at times, we don’t think so.
“God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 1-2, 5-8 The Lenten question we can ask ourselves this week is – “Are we willing to ‘die’ for those who hurt us, do us wrong or attack us (terrorism) through our prayers, sacrifices and forgiveness?” What greater terror, than that of Jesus on the Cross?
The great theological discussion on “living water” in the Gospels is that of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well. The Jews and the Samaritans of Jesus’ time were not friends, more like despised neighbors. Yet, Jesus chooses to have this wonderful sharing with a Samaritan woman – two groups who were not of high esteem. This sounds like the present situation in the world today.
Jesus debated with her the essence of earthly water and the water of eternal life. In the process he declares himself the Messiah, the Christ. “I am he, the one who is speaking with you.” The converted woman brings all the villagers to finally proclaim, “…we know that this is truly the savior of the world.” John 4:5-42
A man of great faith in the face of insurmountable circumstances is honored on Monday – St. Joseph – the protector of Mary and Jesus. He was the one chosen by God to witness the Incarnation – truly, the one blessed among all people. He had the courage to take the child and his mother into a foreign land for safe keeping and to return home when the time was right. Many a father can follow the example of this just man.
The week is rounded out with the Feast of the Annunciation – the day chosen to remember the announcement of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, a humble, teenaged Jewish girl of Nazareth. “Blessed among women…” Down through the ages this proclamation has echoed. Truly, what a privilege to carry the heart of God beneath her own heart. We, too, are privileged to be cradles of this same Jesus in our hearts through his Word and deed – the Eucharist.
Again, we can send up a sigh of gratitude to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for “life giving waters.”
March 21 is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This is but another reflection we can contemplate in our hearts. Are we part of the problem or the answer?
Sister Rosemarie Goins, a Franciscan Felician