March 27, 2011
Third Sunday in Lent
FIRST READING: Exodus 17:1-7
The Israelites left the desert and moved from one place to another each time the LORD ordered them to. Once they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for them to drink.
2The people started complaining to Moses, “Give us some water!”
Moses replied, “Why are you complaining to me and trying to put the LORD to the test?”
3But the people were thirsty and kept on complaining, “Moses, did you bring us out of Egypt just to let us and our families and our animals die of thirst?”
4Then Moses prayed to the LORD, “What am I going to do with these people? They are about to stone me to death!”
5The LORD answered, “Take some of the leaders with you and go ahead of the rest of the people. Also take along the walking stick you used to strike the Nile River, 6and when you get to the rock at Mount Sinai, I will be there with you. Strike the rock with the stick, and water will pour out for the people to drink.” Moses did this while the leaders watched.
7The people had complained and tested the LORD by asking, “Is the LORD really with us?” So Moses named that place Massah, which means “testing” and Meribah, which means “complaining.”
PSALMODY: Psalm 95
1Sing joyful songs to the LORD!
Praise the mighty rock where we are safe.
2Come to worship him with thankful hearts
and songs of praise.
3The LORD is the greatest God, king over all other gods.
4He holds the deepest part of the earth in his hands,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5The ocean is the LORD because he made it,
and with his own hands he formed the dry land.
6Bow down and worship the LORD our Creator!
7The LORD is our God, and we are his people,
the sheep he takes care of in his own pasture.
Listen to God’s voice today!
8Don’t be stubborn and rebel as your ancestors did
at Meribah and Massah out in the desert.
9For forty years they tested God
and saw the things he did.
10Then God got tired of them and said,
“You never show good sense,
and you don’t understand what I want you to do.”
11In his anger, God told them,
“You people will never enter my place of rest.”
SECOND READING: Romans 5:1-11
By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. 2Christ has also introduced us to God’s undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God. 3But that’s not all! We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. 4And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope 5that will never disappoint us. All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love.
6Christ died for us at a time when we were helpless and sinful. 7No one is really willing to die for an honest person, though someone might be willing to die for a truly good person. 8But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
9But there is more! Now that God has accepted us because Christ sacrificed his life’s blood, we will also be kept safe from God’s anger. 10Even when we were God’s enemies, he made peace with us, because his Son died for us. Yet something even greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, we will be saved by his Son’s life. 11And in addition to everything else, we are happy because God sent our Lord Jesus Christ to make peace with us.
GOSPEL: John 4:5-42
[Jesus] had to go through Samaria, 5and on his way he came to the town of Sychar. It was near the field that Jacob had long ago given to his son Joseph. 6-8The well that Jacob had dug was still there, and Jesus sat down beside it because he was tired from traveling. It was noon, and after Jesus’ disciples had gone into town to buy some food, a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well.
Jesus asked her, “Would you please give me a drink of water?”
9“You are a Jew,” she replied, “and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink of water when Jews and Samaritans won’t have anything to do with each other?”
10Jesus answered, “You don’t know what God wants to give you, and you don’t know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would ask me for the water that gives life.”
11“Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this life-giving water? 12Our ancestor Jacob dug this well for us, and his family and animals got water from it. Are you greater than Jacob?”
13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again. 14But no one who drinks the water I give will ever be thirsty again. The water I give is like a flowing fountain that gives eternal life.”
15The woman replied, “Sir, please give me a drink of that water! Then I won’t get thirsty and have to come to this well again.”
16Jesus told her, “Go and bring your husband.”
17-18The woman answered, “I don’t have a husband.”
“That’s right,” Jesus replied, “you’re telling the truth. You don’t have a husband. You have already been married five times, and the man you are now living with isn’t your husband.”
19The woman said, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20My ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say Jerusalem is the only place to worship.”
21Jesus said to her:
Believe me, the time is coming when you won’t worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans don’t really know the one you worship. But we Jews do know the God we worship, and by using us, God will save the world. 23But a time is coming and it is already here! Even now the true worshipers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship him. 24God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship him according to the truth.
25The woman said, “I know that the Messiah will come. He is the one we call Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26“I am that one,” Jesus told her, “and I am speaking to you now.”
27The disciples returned about this time and were surprised to find Jesus talking with a woman. But none of them asked him what he wanted or why he was talking with her.
28The woman left her water jar and ran back into town. She said to the people, 29“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! Could he be the Messiah?” 30Everyone in town went out to see Jesus.
31While this was happening, Jesus’ disciples were saying to him, “Teacher, please eat something.”
32But Jesus told them, “I have food that you don’t know anything about.”
33His disciples started asking each other, “Has someone brought him something to eat?”
My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do. 35You may say that there are still four months until harvest time. But I tell you to look, and you will see that the fields are ripe and ready to harvest.
36Even now the harvest workers are receiving their reward by gathering a harvest that brings eternal life. Then everyone who planted the seed and everyone who harvests the crop will celebrate together. 37So the saying proves true, “Some plant the seed, and others harvest the crop.” 38I am sending you to harvest crops in fields where others have done all the hard work.
39A lot of Samaritans in that town put their faith in Jesus because the woman had said, “This man told me everything I have ever done.” 40They came and asked him to stay in their town, and he stayed on for two days.
41Many more Samaritans put their faith in Jesus because of what they heard him say. 42They told the woman, “We no longer have faith in Jesus just because of what you told us. We have heard him ourselves, and we are certain that he is the Savior of the world!”