15 March 2020 Third Sunday of Lent

Sentence: God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.                                                                 Romans 5:8

 Collect: O God, the fountain of life, to a humanity parched with thirst you offer the living water that springs from the Rock, our Saviour Jesus Christ: stir up within your people the gift of your Spirit, that we may profess our faith with freshness and announce with joy the wonder of your love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A reading from the book of Exodus 17:1-7

1The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, travelling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2So they quarrelled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moses replied, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?’ 3But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, ‘Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?’ 4Then Moses cried out to the Lord , ‘What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.’ 5The Lord answered Moses, ‘Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.’ So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarrelled and because they tested the Lord saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?

****** Psalm : Ps 95 (Page 322) ******

A reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans 5:1-11

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

The Gospel according to St John, Chapter 4:5-42.

5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’ 11‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’ 13Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ 15The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’ 16He told her, ‘Go, call your husband and come back.’ 17‘I have no husband,’ she replied. Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.’ 19‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.’ 21‘Woman,’ Jesus replied, ‘believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’ 25The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah’ (called Christ) ‘is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ 26Then Jesus declared, ‘I, the one speaking to you – I am he.’ 27Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’ 28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29‘Come, see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could this be the Messiah?’ 30They came out of the town and made their way towards him. 31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ 32But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’ 33Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’ 34‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Don’t you have a saying, “It’s still four months until harvest”? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying “One sows and another reaps” is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.’ 39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I’ve ever done.’ 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers. 42They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.’