19th March 2017

3rd Sunday of Lent

Homily

We heard on the first Sunday in Lent the proclamation of the Gospel, the good news of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Last Sunday were called to see our Salvation as a journey which must include the cross. Today we are posed with the question, which we may have already asked ourselves. Maybe we should give up. Like the Israelites. Egypt was bad but nothing is this bad. Let's go back to Egypt. We might say the same not just in Lent but in our lives as disciples. Leave me alone Jesus, let me just enjoy this life, the journey to eternal life is too hard.

St Paul offers particular encouragement. Look we were lost, we were sinners, because of Adam we were trapped in a life which had no end except death and nothing more than death. We were at war with God and there could only be one winner. But God's love cannot leave us alone, sinners we may have been but Jesus stills dies for us, through the Holy Spirit Gods love is poured into our hearts, we are re created, made to be at peace with God, dying still yes, but now dying with Jesus. Dying with God, and dying with the one who loves us, the one who is God, is not the end but the way to eternal glory.

But how does this work out in our prayer, in our private conversations with Jesus, when we talk to him, joke with him, complain to him, are moved by him, fall in love with him, recognise his love for us? Look - he has given us an example. Perhaps we can see ourselves in this slightly dodgy character, this lady, who has loved a lot even if she hasn't loved well, at times needy, flirting, being sarcastic, trying her hand at theology, slightly scandalising the disciples, but eventually, I think, falling in love with Jesus, 'the man who told me all I had ever done'.

And the wonderful things he says to her, the wonderful things he says to us, ' if only you knew what God is offering you", "the water I give you will be a spring welling up inside you", " the hour is coming when you will worship the Father in spirit and in truth" " I who am speaking to you - I am he". This is the Saviour speaking to us, helping us to recognise the life and love he has won for us and wants us to accept. For each of us, as he comes to us, the time has come. This is part of Lent too. Look around, look at the fields, already they are white, ready for the harvest"