The third Sunday of Lent just passed and the Scripture readings remind followers of Christ of the abundant grace that is offered to us each and every day. Sometimes going back to the basics of your faith can be one of the most impactful moments you can have with God. Reminding you of all the promises you have at your fingertips.
The first reading was out of Exodus 17:3-7 which speaks of the children of Israel journeying through the wilderness after being delivered from Egypt. Despite the Red Sea parting before them, they started grumbling against God and Moses. They were tired and thirsty and were questioning whether God was going to provide for them.
God spoke to Moses in Exodus 17:5 and says, “Pass over before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. And take in your hand your rod with which you struck the Nile, and go. Indeed, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and there water shall come out of it, so that people may drink.”
Moses called the place Meribah because of “the contending of the children of Israel, and because they tested the Lord, saying ‘Is the Lord among us, or not?'”
How many of us can identity with the Israelites in their weakness? They are in the barren wilderness with nothing but desert in sight and they are letting doubt creep into the camp.
“Water can be a symbol of destruction but it’s also in the Bible a symbol of life,” Bishop Robert Barron says in his Sunday sermon.
As you read the Scripture, the context and culture is critical to understand the deeper meanings to what they are saying. Baron reminds us that desert people wrote these text and their journey toward God and redemption, like ours, can be a painful one.
“That’s the way all of us feel as we are on the spiritual journey. I think now we’re kind of in the middle of Lent, we might feel that way. We grumble,” Barron says.
God wants to provide good things for those who love Him and follow Him. He desires that we partake in the grace that He has given us. Barron talks to the symbolism of water in this Scripture. It’s a perfect picture of God’s grace. Even while the Israelites are complaining, God extends His mercy and grace to them and brings water out of a rock, showing He can use any means necessary to provide for His children.
“God wants us to partake of His grace. The problem is, the people were in their negativity and their grumbling, demanding and grasping,” Barron says.
The second reading was out of John 4:5-42.
Jesus goes out of His way to the city of Samaria and sat down by the well. The Samaritan woman came to the well and Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
“Why is he asking her for a drink? What’s our basic problem? Go right back to the waters of Meribah. Grasping, I want it.”
In this picture, grace symbolizes the water. Baron asks, how do we get grace? Not by grasping, but by giving.
“Water for thirsty bodies that symbolize the water of grace for thirsty souls,” he says.
Living water flows from the divine source. How often have you run to a well in life hoping to find satisfaction for your soul? Maybe the well was a career, a person or money. There will always be a bottom to every well here on earth, but God offers us a well that will never run dry.
Put your trust in God today. Whether you are sick or weary in your spirit don’t lose in hope in the One who came to satisfy your soul. He is willing and ready to meet you where you are today and refresh you with living water.