"Breaking Open the Word" :
James Cavanagh is the director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-Area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. His weekly column, "Breaking Open the Word," is syndicated by the Denver Catholic Register, official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver. Click here to visit the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Denver.
March 27: Third Sunday of Lent
Key verse: “The water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14).
Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The Holy Spirit is the living water ‘welling up to eternal life’ in the heart that prays. It is he who teaches us to accept it at its source: Christ. Indeed, in the Christian life there are several wellsprings where Christ awaits us to enable us to drink of the Holy Spirit” (No. 2652).
Pope Benedict XVI: “The Lord promises the Samaritan woman water that becomes in the one who drinks it a source springing up into eternal life, so that whoever drinks it will never be thirsty again. In the conversation with the Samaritan woman, then, water once again—though now in a different way—functions as the symbol of the Pneuma (Spirit) the real life-force, which quenches man’s deeper thirst and give him plenitude of life for which he is waiting without knowing it” (“Jesus of Nazareth,” Vol. 1).
Life application: Water is one of the most beautiful symbols of the Holy Spirit. The divine life is poured into hearts every time we receive the sacraments. Baptism, which the catechism calls the “gateway” to all the other sacraments, is just the beginning of the spiritual life. It must be nourished with regular prayer, frequent confession and, of course, holy Communion. Like the woman at the well, the Lord knows the secrets of our hearts. May we see ourselves as Christ sees us and acknowledge our sins, confident of his love and mercy.
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