Third Sunday of Lent - Year A
THE WATER ROCK
It is possible to find water in the driest desert. There are limestone springs in the Sinai. Eventually a crust forms over them, blocking the flow. Anyone who had lived in the area for several years would be likely to recognize the signs of such springs. Moses only had to break through the crust to release the water. He becomes frustrated at the slow response and shows a lack of trust in God.
It is often said that Eskimos--Native Americans of Alaska and Canada--have many different words for snow. These words describe different kinds of snow. A similar diversity of words for water is true of people of the Middle Eastern desert. Today, Jesus speaks of "living water". Literally this is "flowing" water as opposed to that which accumulates in pools or wells. Standing water can become stagnant. It becomes less desirable in taste than water which has flowed from a spring or river. The Samaritan woman offers to draw water from the well, but Jesus suggests that he can offer her the living variety. Apparently he is referring to the water of Baptism which allows each of the baptized to become sources of life themselves.
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