Lectionary Reflections: Third Sunday of Lent [a] March 19, 2017

Engaging Faith | Wed, Mar 15, 2017

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Third Sunday of Lent [a]

March 19, 2017


Exodus 17:3-7

Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

John 4:5-42



March 17: Feast of Saint Patrick

March 19: Feast of Saint Joseph

March 20: First Day of Spring in the northern hemisphere

March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 22: World Water Day

March 25: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

March 25: Earth Hour at 8:30pm (

March 25: International Day for the Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

March 26: 50th Anniversary of Populorum Progressio (written in 1967)



Christ's way of acting, the Gospel of his words and deeds, is a consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women.

— Saint John Paul II

Women are equally created in the image and likeness of God, equally redeemed by Christ, equally sanctified by the Holy Spirit; women are equally involved in the ongoing tragedy of sin and the mystery of grace, equally called to mission in this world, equally destined for life with God in glory.

— Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, She Who Is, 8

The Christian who takes part in the Eucharist learns to become a promoter of communion, peace and solidarity in every situation. More than ever, our troubled world, which began the new Millennium with the specter of terrorism and the tragedy of war, demands that Christians learn to experience the Eucharist as a great school of peace, forming men and women who, at various levels of responsibility in social, cultural and political life, can become promoters of dialogue and communion.

— John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine, October 2004

Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent.

— Pope Francis, Interview in America Magazine, 30 September 2013

I invite you to join in the fight against poverty, both material and spiritual. Together let’s build peace and bridges of friendship.

— Pope Francis, 16 February 2016



Thoughts for Your Consideration

The ministry of Jesus is inclusive.  
The call of Jesus is inclusive.  
Jesus invites a woman.  Jesus invites Samaritans.
Jesus breaks with the cultural expectations.
Jesus wants to invite everyone to the one community of God.

This is clearly a message that we need to hear today in light of the tendency to exclude – to exclude women in our society – to exclude people that are different than ourselves – to close our borders to immigrants and refugees – to be afraid of people who are different. 

In today’s gospel story Jesus talks with a woman. It is amazing to the disciples. Jewish rabbis did not talk to women and Samaritans. However, despite all the conventions of the time, Jesus talks to her and everything is changed.  She experiences acceptance and love.  She runs off in excitement to share with the whole village. She is the first follower in John’s gospel to spread the good news.  The whole town is changed.   

 The Samaritan woman in some way represents all the women of the world whose gifts are not recognized, who experience oppression, and who struggle for justice.  Her encounter with Jesus is an encounter of liberation for her and then for her whole village.   We are invited to apply the gospel to the situation of all excluded women in our modern world.   God is concerned to bring together people of all genders, all ethnic groups, all ages, all levels of wealth, and all social classes.  

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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