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.
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?