On March 19, Kathleen Ryan, ARCWP and Mary Skelly led the community’s liturgical celebration for the Third Sunday of Lent. They used the Gospel of the Samaritan Women and a reading from The Samaritan Woman by Edwina Gateley. Edwina’s reading and Kathie’s homily starter are printed below.
Welcome: Today is the Third Sunday of Lent. The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is proclaimed. Jesus interacts with this woman. He is a risk taker. He knows his actions are not the norm. He acts anyway. He is modeling what it means to live the love that the Holy One has always intended. When we hear the readings today place yourself at the scene and imagine what the Holy One might be asking of you, of each of us.
Opening Prayer: Our world, our culture sometimes tells us we are not worthy. Love tells us we are everything. Between these two banks living water flows. Let us pray our opening prayer in song.
Deep Within by David Haas
A reading from The Samaritan Woman by Edwina Gately
“Water, give me water.” He—a man, and Jew-asking me for water! I can scarce hide my shock. He must be mad of course. But he is gentle. He does not know me.
I must tell him-it is not done, it is not right that he should speak to me. But he does. He begins to tell me strange things about Living Water.
Talking with me in sacred space. I am swelling with a joy and freedom I have never known! There is a rush like cleansing water running through me, leaving me light as air. I have no need now for my jar of clay.
I run with the Living Water! I run with the Good News entrusted to me-to me by the Christ who waited for me, received and filled me at the well where women gather.
I am no longer afraid and shamed. I am your soul sister. Honored, blessed, bearer of new life. First witness of the Christ amongst us who broke the rules of exclusion, who dared to speak to a woman, who asked a favor from such as I, then chose me the rejected one, chose me the sinner, chose me the woman to run, oh so filled up, with such Good News.
Kathleen Ryan’s Homily Starter
The story of the Samaritan woman is very familiar. But every time I read it I hear/see something else. We know the Samaritan woman is living on the margins. She is at the well at noon because she is not welcomed to be there in the morning when the other women in the community go for water. She is alone and going about her daily routine just like you and I do every day. Sometimes our tasks are ordinary and on the dull side. And then we have a moment when we recognize the Holy One, or Jesus, or the Spirit in someone or something. We become aware just like this woman and our hearts are lifted. After spending time, sparring with, questioning, Jesus what does this woman do? She runs to her community and brings them to hear the Good News. This is our challenge every day: to spend time, spar maybe, question too and then bring the Good News to our family, friends, communities. Please share your insights, and thoughts. What did you hear today?
Communion song: Come to the Water by John Foley, SJ