Do We Trust the Lord, or Grumble Against Him?

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion

Clergy Corner for March 19, 2017, Third Sunday of Lent
Exodus 17:3-7; Psalm 95:1-2,6-9; Romans 5:1-2,5-8; John 4:5-42


Do We Trust the Lord, or Grumble Against Him?

"[T]he Church, especially during Advent and Lent and above all at the Easter Vigil, re-reads and re-lives the great events of salvation history" (CCC 1095).

On this Third Sunday of Lent, as we re-live the Exodus journey and the personal journey of faith to Christ, we might ask whether we trust in the Lord, or grumble against him and those he sends to guide us?

The Israelites grumbled against Moses, who was God's spokesperson, and so were faithless to God. For that, they paid a great price.

Grumbling against God's appointed leader can lead to two results. In the short term, God will likely provide for his people's needs, but in the long term God will allow the grumblers more time of struggle.

Because the Lord loves his people, he disciplines them, so they will learn to trust him more and grow in him. See Ex 17:3-7; Num 14:1-45 (40 years in the desert because of their grumbling); Heb 12:5-17; 1 Cor 10:1-14; Ps 2:1-11.

The right attitude is one of complete trust and faithfulness toward the Lord. As the Psalmist says, let us "acclaim the Rock of our salvation... [and] bow down in worship... For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides" (Ps 95:1, 6-7). And, our "hope does not disappoint"! (Rm 5:5).

Through His gentle, but frank, interchange with the woman at the well, Jesus brought her to a faith in Him that changed her life. He led her to the eternal life He came to bring for all who believe in Him, are baptized, and follow Him to the end (see Jn 4:5-42).

In Jesus' time on earth, it was highly unusual for a Samaritan woman to be spoken to by a Jewish man. She soon learned that He was a prophet, and then, after her reference to the coming Messiah, she heard what no one else had yet heard: "I am He" (Jn 5:5-42)!

Jesus taught her that true worship of God is in Spirit and truth, and her faith in Christ then led others to believe in Christ, as well.

During Lent, we spend time deepening our faith and trust in Christ and sharing it with others, by word and deed.

May our worship of the Redeemer during this special season help us to trust Him ever more deeply, for our good and the good of all.

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