Third Sunday of Lent - Year A
Could he possibly be the Messiah?
Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop
CC Sermon 22 ; PL 57, 477
"The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said: ' Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah? ' "
“Water quenches a flaming fire and alms atone for sin” (Sir 3,29): water is compared to mercy. But just as water flows from a source, so must I search for the source of mercy. And I have found it in the prophet: “With you is the source of life and in your light we see light” (Ps 35,10).
It is indeed he who in the Gospel asks for water from the Samaritan woman... Our Savior asks the woman for water and pretends to be thirsty so he can pass on eternal grace to the thirsty. For indeed, the source cannot be thirsty and he in whom living water is to be found cannot drink the polluted water of this earth. Was Christ thirsty? Indeed he was thirsty but not for our drink but for our salvation. He was thirsty, not for earth's water but for the redemption of humankind.
Christ the source, seated at the well, miraculously causes the waters of mercy to spring up from that same location. A woman who has already had six lovers is purified by the waves of living water. Oh what a wonder! A loose woman who has come to the well of Samaria returns chaste from Jesus' source! Having come in search of water, she departs with virtue. She immediately confesses to the sins to which Jesus alludes, she recognizes the Christ and proclaims the Savior. She leaves her water jar behind and... in its place brings grace back with her to the village; relieved of her burden, she returns laden with holiness... She who came a sinner returns a prophetess.
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