Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent Year A
Theme: Human Thirst
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday March 15 2020
Men and women are always in search for something; always thirsting for something greater than what they already have. The irony of these search and thirst is the fact that on the temporal level, the more we get closer to our object of search and thirst, the more we discover the inferiority of what we formally had or thirsted for. The created order may offer many alternatives but none of these can integrally satisfy human wants or that which men and women truly thirst for. May God open our minds to discover that He is the one we truly thirst for and not the transitory deceptions before us and may He help us overcome this Coronavirus Epidemic that is tormenting the whole world and usurping the peace of mind which God offers us daily; Amen.
The Journey of the people of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land reminds us of the Journey of Life. It is a journey of hope and trust; hope in the promises of God to all of us and trust in the faithfulness of God to His promises. It is a journey of many encounters and of many possibilities; a journey which ends on a positive note only when we walk with God. Within this journey, we face and live the reality of human thirst that comes to us in a variety of ways. One of the greatest difficulties we have is to actually discern the fact that God is the true object of our thirst. Every human thirst can lead us closer to God or farther away from God. Human thirst leads us closer to God when we discover that only in Him can we be satisfied. On the other hand, human thirst leads us away from God when we allow ourselves to be blinded by the turbulence it erects within us thinking that the reigning commodity can satisfy us; we consume and consume and we are never satisfied. This was the story of the People of Israel in the First Reading of today (17:3-7); “tormented by thirst, the people complained against Moses. Why did you bring us out of Egypt?” They complained against God because Moses was only a servant of God and they wished to remain to Egypt their land of slavery. The search for the satisfaction of human thirst in the transitory world is the greatest agent of servitude to humanity; we become slaves to those things that should help us draw close to God. We become slaves to what the system offers instead of working to become free inhabitants of the Promised Land, filled with milk and honey. The Promised Land is not just a place, it is also a state; that very state when we discover that God is enough and that He alone do we truly desire!
The woman in the Gospel Reading of today (John 4:5-42) left her water jar when she discovered this fact; when she recognised the very fount that quenches all of the needs and desires of all men and women. Before Christ, her water jar became useless and unnecessary because it was only an instrument that nurtures human thirst rather than quenching it; it only brought momentary relieve and afterwards a greater feeling of thirst rather than extinguishing the very thirst itself. This is our story! This is the experience of each and every one of us! Sometimes we carry our water jars, made of clay, as if they are our true source and means of salvation. Sometimes we hang onto the ever changing things of this world as if there is nothing beyond the physical. Sometimes we trust human progress and successes and achievements and inventions that we forget God and displace Him from the rightful position He should take in our lives and in our history as human beings. Even in all of these moments of forgetfulness of God, He never stops loving us. He loves us more than we know it and “what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:1-2, 5-8). Even when we refuse to acknowledge and appreciate His love for us, God is telling us anew through His Son Jesus Christ “anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside him, welling up to eternal life.” This is the water we need to survive. This is the water the world needs to overcome and outlive the crises that torment her. We may not want to recognise it; but the turn of things is an invitation to go back to God our Creator and our Guide; back to Christ our Saviour and back to the Holy Spirit that leads us to the truth. God knows what we need and He alone can satisfy and quench this thirst within human beings which no created thing can quench and which no human invention can satisfy.
Heavenly Father, by the merits of Your Son Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy and through the intercession of Mary Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her most chaste Spouse and of all the Angels and Saints of God in heaven, save your children from this global calamity of the Coronavirus and touch our hearts to return to You, our Creator, our Help and our Shield; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE