The late Father Raymond Brown, Sulpician priest, professor and Biblical scholar, speaks in his commentary on this Sunday’s Gospel about how “we come to believe in Jesus even when there are lots of reasons we can find not to believe in Him,” and uses this gospel to highlight our lives as a sign of a well of “living water.” But first, on the Third Sunday of Lent we begin the Scrutiny’s—the Rite of RCIA—when the unbaptized that are to be baptized on Easter leave the Church and go into deeper study while we hear Sacred Scripture.
Today we hear from the Gospel of John about the Samaritan women at the well with Jesus, and the review of her life—the choices she made based on the truths she accepted—and how she answers His questions in seeking His Truth.
Father Brown wants us also to know and understand Christ’s Truths and then to enliven our lives with His absolute and life-giving Word, when we do this we are then called to live out our daily activities of life developed by the Word of God. What Fr. Brown really wants us to see is that like the
Samaritan women at the well, we also may be living in a conflated form of truth and may not even know it. In fact, we may believe we are correct about many things (vocatu…) and not be yet that does not deny the Truth of God—He is present anyway!
So for many modern-day readers we need to put this into an updated analogy: if we are going to run the race or do the work, shouldn’t the practice or preparation be valid? For if not, why bother? Father Brown would ask us to use this gospel and this Lenten season to look interiorly and scrutinize our own lives and actions—fill our way of life with Truth (righteousness) and run toward Christ…whose arms are open to us—whether we are sinners or not, and who isn’t? Christ is ready and waiting to dialogue with us and to meet us anywhere—at any time and place—for He desires
nothing more to bring another child of God home to Him, no matter what our past has been. As they say: God is good all the time and all the time God is good.