Lent III A: The Encounter with the woman of Samaria. This is Jesus’ longest conversation with a woman in the gospel. There is nothing explicit or implicit in the text that Jesus considers her unworthy, a person less than deserving his attention, and someone incapable os being an evangelist, which in fact she becomes for the people of her own town. Indeed, while it is a sharp exchange, reflecting much humor which we don’t get today in our dour culture of whining and discontent.

For today, let’s begin with the first reading. The people are grumbling. When aren’t people grumbling. We are the people, that had we been and the multiplication of fish and loaves, would have whined to Jesus because hje didn’t make tartar sauce. The grumbling, groaning, and grousing of the people is a persistent Biblical theme. Our question is this: Is God in our midst or not?

In American we have willfully conjured a God whom we think has made us special among all the nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. The civil religion of the day is evangelical, more a social and political identity metric that religious or spiritual. We have invented the God of prosperity religion, that appears nowhere in the Bible. There’s not a single Catholic priest who will homiletically take this on.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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