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“With the ‘death’ of each sin, we drink the water of life:” A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent

March 17, 2017

“With the ‘death’ of each sin, we drink the water of life:”
A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent
by Eric Melanson

March 19, 2017: Exodus 17:3-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-2, 5-8; John 4:5-42

"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.” (John 4:13-14)

Much like the Samaritan woman we are often seeking to quench our “thirst,” and find that true satisfaction comes when we least expect it.  The more and more I reflected on this week’s scripture the more I was drawn to the examples in which Jesus broke down perceived barriers during His conversation with this woman, yet again showing us how to live through his example.

First, the fact that He would even talk to the Samaritan woman, considering that at the time the Jews and Samaritans stayed clear of each other, was a shock. This shocked the woman herself and then His disciples upon their return. Jesus did not let the fact that this woman was a Samaritan stop him from reaching out to her and offering her to drink the water of eternal life. Proving yet again that we are all one body in Christ.

Second, given how women with her marital history were perceived at the time, many would think that she would not be worthy of being in Jesus’s presence let alone being chosen as a messenger of God’s word.  This part of the story allows her to acknowledge the sins of her past and fills her with the Spirit as she realizes that Jesus is the Messiah they are waiting for. This is a reminder to all Christians that no matter what sins we may have committed, that God’s love for us is never-ending.

Both examples I mentioned led me to evaluate the path my Lenten journey is on this year.

Yes, I fasted on Ash Wednesday and will do so again on Good Friday and all Fridays in-between. However, this year, instead of making a “sacrifice” for 40 days, I have decided to work on my discipline and be more helpful around the house. Sadly, this is more of a challenge for me than it would have been to give up potato chips, soda, or watching “This is Us.” (All things that I would instantly return to after Lent.)

To me fasting isn’t merely a test of what thing, that I barely consume as it is, can do without for a full 40 days. Fasting is an act of self-control and an opportunity to repent and evaluate our relationship with God.

In deciding to be more helpful around the house, I have acknowledged that this is a weakness in my life and an area I can improve in. I often get too consumed with work and my personal agenda to spare 30 minutes to help my wife maintain our home.  By showing the self-control it takes to put aside the time to help her will not only help our relationship, but through our love for each other our relationship with God.

Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice when He died for our sins so that we may live. This Lent I challenge you to find that one aspect in your life that needs to “die” so that you can live a more Christ-like life. For with the “death” of each sin, we drink the water that Jesus provides us and prepare ourselves for our encounter with God in eternal life.


Eric Melanson participated in Catholics on Call in August 2009. He is currently the Website Coordinator and Technology Support at Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center in West Hartford, CT. In addition to his office duties, Eric provides support to Holy Family’s youth ministry program.


Image: thirst by Emily Elisabeth Photography found on flickr under a creative commons license

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