Gospel Reflection for March 15, 2020, 3rd Sunday of Lent

Scripture Readings: Exodus 17.3-7; Romans 5.1-2,5-8; John 4.5-42

The woman said to Jesus, “I know the messiah is coming, the one called the Christ who will announced all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am the one, who is speaking to you.” – John 4.35-36

On the strength of a Samaritan woman’s witness, her townspeople come to meet Jesus and believe in him. The Eastern Church gives her the name Photina (light bearer). In her conversation with Jesus, the woman recognizes he has come in spirit and truth to include her people in his community.

Centuries of estrangement stand between the Samaritan woman and Jesus. When Assyria conquers the Northern Kingdom in 722 BCE, the resettle the land with tribes who worship other gods. The Samaritan intermarry with these tribes and Samaria becomes the land of heretics in the eye of the Jews of the south. It is not the woman but Samaria that has had five husbands in the past—the false gods of the settlers. The story is in 2 Kings 17.

Like Peter, Andrew, James, and John who leave their fishing nets to follow Jesus, the Samaritan leaves her water jar that symbolizes her work and goes to tell her townspeople she has found the messiah. The strength of the Samaritan woman’s word and witness bring her people to hear Jesus for themselves. Her witness can inspire our own.

John’s gospel contrasts the noontime when Jesus woos the Samaritan woman, a supposed heretic, and the nighttime in the chapter preceding when Nicodemus, a strictly observant Jew, comes to visit Jesus. Jesus leads both through deliberate double meanings and misunderstandings. Jesus winds up in a monologue with an uncomprehending Nicodemus. The woman, however, questions, objects, and challenges Jesus until in the end she recognizes—aha! He must be the messiah. She models bringing one’s life story into dialogue with Jesus and struggling to break open the word he speaks.

What is your word and witness to others about Jesus? What difference does it make to recognize Jesus is talking to this woman as a representative Samaritan rather than a sinner?

We Can!

When Jesus asks James and John if they can drink the cup he will drink, they speak a bold and brash, “We can.” These two words in Latin form the motto of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondeletpossumus. The pioneering sisters in our community and other religious communities indeed lived bold and brash lives, building up the schools, colleges, hospitals, and orphanages that serve people to this day.

Listen to Sister Joan’s explanation of what it means to say “We can.” Visit goodgroundpress.com and check out our free Lenten resources. Here you will find ways you can keep Lent.

Lent 2020 Coloring Cross

Download this cross from our free Lent Resources page at goodgroundpress.com. A separate page lists color-coded activities to choose from. Do an activity and color a section of the Cross. By Easter you will have a joyful symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

What Tempts Us?

Welcome to the first week of Lent. We invite you to listen to this reflection video from Sister Joan Mitchell, and enjoy the free Lent resources at goodgroundpress.com. Pass them on to a friend. Our prayers are with you. Please remember us in yours.

Visio Divina Retreat

Check out Sister Joan’s Lent retreat: Visio Divina. This 5-part Lenten retreat uses both art (visio) and words (lectio) to open the Gospel messages to you.


Gospel Reflection for March 1, 2020, 1st Sunday of Lent

Scripture Readings: Genesis 2.7-9; 3.1-7; Romans 5.12-19; Matthew 4.1-11

Scripture says, “Not by bread alone do people live but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Scripture also says, “You shall not put the Holy One your God to the test.” – Matthew 4.4, 7

The temptation gospel asks us to examine the God we worship. Perhaps our God inspires personal gain and success more than service. Perhaps we blame /god for letting bad things happen to good people. Or perhaps God seems too old-fashioned, pre-scientific, and irrelevant. Not Jesus, he refuses to put God to the test. He worships God alone, the first commandment, and lives by God’s word.

The temptation is a verbal duel. The devil wants to know why, if Jesus is the Son of God, he refuses to use his powers for his own gain. Jesus shuns divine stunts and opts for giving life through love and forgiveness. To tempt means not only to entice, lure, urge, persuade but also to test, to put to proof, to try. Lents calls us discern how we are using our gifts toward building up our families and the human family. Lent invites us to cease all that trivializes or demeans us, all that erodes our energies, and set our eyes on what awakens our spirit.

What is testing you in your life? Who do you trust and serve?

Lent is here!

Take the time this Lent for holy reading. We recommend these short and easy-to-read books for your Lenten reflection and prayer. They are even better when shared with friends, family, or a faith-sharing group.

Lent 2020: A Call to Newness

“Use the eyes God gave you.” This short booklet makes seeing a way to reflect on the Sunday gospels of Lent. Art works magic and places the seer in the gospel scenes. View a sample page and order your copy today at goodgroundpress.com or call at 800-232-5533.

Holy Women of the Gospel

Meet the women Jesus knew in art, story, and prayer. Read the sample pages and imagine the group of women you want to share these stories with. Only $8 per copy. Order online or call 800-232-5533.

We still have some Lenten Sunday by Sundays available! Let the gospel lead you to Easter newness. Sunday by Sunday makes reflecting on the Lenten gospels easy. You can receive all eight issues for just $4 per person. Visit goodgroundpress.com to view sample issues and order your copies today.

Do Something for Lent

Visit our Social Justice Resources page for more ways you can get involved and take action in your community.

Ash Wednesday Prayer Service

Ash Wednesday is this week, February 26. We have prepared an Ash Wednesday prayer service for those of you who cannot make it to church or who would like to celebrate with the homebound or those in nursing homes.

If you have a little bit of palm from last Palm Sunday, burn it to make the ashes. Or write down a way you wish to grow during Lent and then burn that paper to create ashes.

Visit goodgroundpress.com for more resources to make Lent a blessed time for yourself and for those you love and serve.

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