Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God. 


 

Opening Prayer

O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness, Look graciously on us, that we may always lifted up by your mercy. Amen.
 

 

Reading

Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who 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 do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?" Jesus answered and said to her, "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." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." ( John 4: 5 – 42)

 

Reflection

This weekend we had much happening, both in the Feasts of the season and in the scriptures. March 19th was the Feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary and patron saint of the Church. The Gospel for this past Sunday was that wonderful story of the Woman at the Well and her encounter with the living God; with living water. In the United States we continue to be concerned for the poor, the refugees and for those who are “different” than we are. We are living in an environment of serious questions and serious fears. What does this celebration of St. Joseph and the gospel story of living water offer us at this time?
Jesus’ encounter with this woman, a Samaritan, was one of revelation, compassion and hope. First, Jesus told the woman everything about her, revealing even the secret she seemed to be keeping from herself. Second, he did not do this in a way that blamed her or caused her shame. Rather, he treated her with compassion and understanding. Finally, by offering her the “water of life” in the mystery of salvation, he gave her hope in the midst of her sinfulness.
Joseph, in the flight into Egypt, became a refugee running from the authorities. Through the message of an angel of God, his path was revealed to him. In an act of selfless love and devotion, he took the child Jesus and his wife Mary to a place of refuge and safety. His quick response to God’s Word brought hope to his little family and ultimately to all humanity. As the opening prayer states, God’s mercy and goodness is meant to unite and lift up all those who are separated one from another and all who live in fear and despair.
In these Lenten days, where do we need God’s revelation, compassion or hope in our own lives? As followers of Jesus, how will we be bearers of revelation, compassion and hope to our world? I do not believe we are called to sit idle and watch the world go by with all its sufferings and trials. I believe the Gospel message is needed more than ever and if not us, than who?

Closing Prayer

The promises of God I will sing forever; Through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness, For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”; In heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. (Psalm 89: 2-3)

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