Saturday, February 23, 2008

The True Water (3rd Sunday of Lent)

A lot of thirsty people in the readings…
But as always, we ask—what is it that will truly satisfy?

In the Gospel, the Lord helps the woman see

that the Water she truly needs is the Holy Spirit.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is God;
and in baptism,
God the Spirit
becomes in us a Spring of Living Water
welling up to eternal life.

Some in our midst are preparing for baptism;

they say what the woman said: "Sir, give me this water"!

They will be baptized at the Easter Vigil,

and you are personally invited to be part of that.

But for the rest of us—we have the Holy Spirit in us:
what an amazing statement: what does that mean?

First of all, we might reflect, is that how I live?

If not…we have the sacrament of confession.

Second, what does this make possible,
when I say,
God is poured into my life?
It is so critical that we realize
who we are in Jesus Christ
is so radically different—and infinitely greater—

than who we seem to be, by the world’s standards.

Our bodies or our age may limit us—too young, too old;

Oh, we don’t we have money, we don’t have power,

we’re not smart or important…

But if we have the Holy Spirit in our lives…
what holds us back?

Here’s what it means:

> You and I have power to change…
We can be truly forgiven. We can have hope.

The woman at the well had been looking for love,

one relationship after another.

How easily she could have said, "it’s too late"; "God won’t forgive me now."

And, when she began her new life—
don’t think her old life just disappeared.
People who turn from alcoholism have a saying:
"one day at a time."

When you and I go to confession,
we go back to the well of forgiveness and it always flows.

> You and I have the power to change our world—if only a little at a time.
This Sunday, you are invited to contribute to the "Catholic Ministry Appeal."
Yes, this used to have a different name.

But you know how people say,
"I wish the Archdiocese would change"?
Guess what—they did!

They changed this fund,
so all the money
goes to the designated causes, none to "administration."
The envelopes are in your pews, and it goes to the following causes:
for the seminary to train new priests; or maybe St. Rita School for the Deaf;
Or retired priests like Fathers Boeke and Caserta;

or ministry in hospitals, colleges or prisons?

Or Catholic Social Services—that helps a lot, right here.

These are all causes we can get behind.

Through this fund, we can help change our community.

> You and I have the power to share Christ with others—
to help him change
other people’s lives.
That’s what the woman did, didn’t she?
She had to tell people!

As you and I reflect on what Christ means to us,

the Holy Spirit will lead you to do that, as well.

People ask me, do I like me car—I say yes;

You and I have been telling people how great SCRIP is,

convenient and it helps our parish and school.

But God help us, if we say more about those things,

than we do about what Jesus Christ has done!

He alone gives Water for eternal life!

In a moment, at the climax of Mass,
we will be united to Jesus in his Body and Blood.

That means we’ve repented, and chosen Christ,

it means we’ve united our lives—and deaths—to his;

we live for him as members of his Catholic Church.

The bread and wine back there—I have no power to change into anything!

But the Holy Spirit, the Life-giving water—
He can transform that,
making Jesus truly present here!

And the Holy Spirit can do the same to us.

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