Third Sunday of Lent
14 – 15 March 2020

We know how hard it is when people become dependent on hand-outs. There is stagnation and in all probability regression too. Dependency erodes pride and self-respect. What people need is not a hand-out but a hand-up. People can become spiritually dependent also, and this too is difficult.
Once there was a woman who had to make a daily trip of about a mile to draw water from a public well. Over the years she grew weary of the journey, no matter how much water she brought home. She always ended up with an empty container.
One day whilst doing some work in her own garden near a remote corner she came upon a large flagstone lying on the ground. The flagstone was completely covered with moss. Her curiosity increased, she cleared the moss, removed the flagstone and discovered a lovely well. Thrilled, never again would she have to make that tiresome journey to the public well. Now in her own back yard she had an unfailing source of water of her own.
Most of us have been through years of education and spiritual formation of one kind or another. During those years we have had many teachers and spiritual guides. These worked hard at providing us with the waters of knowledge, waters drawn from their own and others people’s wells. But we still thirsted. If only our teachers had helped us to find our own well, how much further on would we be now.
It seems to me that this is what Jesus did for the Samaritan woman. She had been searching for love and happiness but always outside herself. Jesus directed her search inwards. Ever so gently he showed her that up to now she had been looking for the right thing (love), but in the wrong places. Then he told her where the water was that she was seeking – surprisingly it was within- the spring was there all the time, it was just that it was hidden and blocked off.
Many spiritual teachers fill others from their own abundance. This is good to a point – but it can easily make people dependent on the teacher, making them content to live on spiritual hand-outs. This can have a further effect of making people painfully aware of their own emptiness. Sadly, many are content to live like that.
Christ made people aware of their own emptiness, but didn’t leave it at that. He showed them how to begin to fill this emptiness, not from without, but from within.
Let our prayer be:- ‘Oh, that we may find the inner well, the well that lies hidden under the moss in our hearts.’ Then we won’t have to be running here and there in search of spiritual nourishment. We will have an unfailing source inside us. We must believe that this well is really there.
What is this inner spring? It is the life of God bubbling up inside us. The discovery of God is like a spring within us. A spring from which we can drink and refresh ourselves. A spring which bubbles up into eternal life.
Prayer, fasting and Alms-giving – three tools lent provides to help us discover what is already within – Please note from this week there will be an extra Lenten Mass 6.00pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: Stations of the Cross on Fridays, Parish Lenten Reconciliation, Thursday March 26, following the night 5.30pm Mass that evening.

Care and love to all : Dean Peter