At the Angelus Pope Francis comments on Christ’s dialogue with the Samaritan woman: "This Gospel is meant for us!". Lent opportunity to encounter Jesus "in prayer, in a heart to heart conversation, see his face in the face of a suffering brother or sister ". Solidarity with the people of Peru, hit by floods. The beatification in Bolzano of Josef Mayr-Nusser, Nazi martyr: a model for the laity and for fathers.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Dear brothers, the water that gives eternal life has been poured out into our hearts the day of our Baptism; then God transformed us and filled us with His grace. But it may be that we have forgotten this great gift, or reduced it to a mere piece of personal data; and maybe we go in search of "wells" whose waters cannot quench our thirst", said Pope Francis to pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square to pray the Angelus.
The Pope drew the symbol of water from the comment on today's Gospel (Lent III A, Jn. 4: 5-42), which presents the encounter and dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
"While the disciples go into the village to get food - said Francis - Jesus remains at a well and asks a woman, who had come to draw water for a drink. This request leads to a dialogue. Why does a Jew deign to ask something of a Samaritan woman? Jesus answers: if you knew who I am, and the gift I have for you, you would be the one to ask and I would give you 'living water', water that satisfies every thirst and becomes an inexhaustible source in the heart of the drinker (vv . 10-14) ".
"Going to the well to draw water is tiring and boring; it would be nice to have a trickling fountain! But Jesus speaks of a different water. When she realizes that the man she is talking to is a prophet, she confides her life to him and asks religious questions. Her thirst for affection and a full life was not satisfied by the five husbands with whom she had, indeed, experienced delusions and deceptions. So the woman was impressed by the great respect that Jesus had for her and when He even speaks of the true faith, as a relationship with God the Father 'in spirit and in truth', then you can imagine that this man could be the Messiah, and Jesus – how rare - confirms: "it is I, who speak to you" (v. 26). He says he is the messiah to a woman who had such a disordered life."
"This Gospel - insisted the pontiff - is meant right for us! Jesus speaks to us like the Samaritan woman. Of course, we already know who Jesus is, but perhaps we have not yet met in person, we know, but maybe I have not met him personally, we have not yet recognized as our Savior. This time of Lent is a good time to approach him, meet him in prayer in a heart to heart conversation, talk to Him, listen to Him, to see his face in the face of a suffering brother or sister. In this way we can renew in us the grace of Baptism, quench our thirst at the source of the Word of God and his Holy Spirit; and so discover the joy of becoming builders of peace and instruments of reconciliation in everyday life".
"May the Virgin Mary - he concluded - help us to draw constantly on the grace that is that water that flows from the rock which is Christ the Savior, that we may profess our faith with conviction and proclaim the wonders of God's love with joy, source of mercy and of good for all of us. "
After the Marian prayer, Francis expressed his closeness "to the dear population of Peru, hit hard by devastating floods". "I pray - he said - for the victims and for those engaged in relief operations".
He then recalled that Josef Mayr-Nusser was beatified yesterday, in Bolzano. He was a family man and member Catholic Action, who was martyred because he refused to join the Nazis for fidelity to the Gospel. "Because of his great moral and spiritual stature - said the Pope - he is a model for the lay faithful, especially for fathers, who we remember today with great affection, though the liturgical feast of St. Joseph, their patron, which this' year will be celebrated tomorrow. For all fathers: Let us salute them with a big round of applause."