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Third Sunday of Lent - Cycle A

En español

General Intercessions: [English PDF]
 

Celebrant: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We therefore approach God with confidence to express our needs..

Deacon/Lector:

That all who have not yet received the living waters of the Gospel may be given that opportunity through the ministry of the Church, we pray to the Lord...

That all who are preparing to be baptized at Easter may find strength and joy during their Lenten journey, we pray to the Lord...

That those who thirst for the waters of life -- the unborn children, the terminally ill, the marginalized and oppressed -- may be set free and embraced in love, we pray to the Lord...

That the hungry may be fed, the homeless sheltered, the unemployed given work, and the unwanted welcomed, we pray to the Lord...

For all those who have asked us for our prayers, especially those who are ill, we pray to the Lord...

That all who have died may be purified of sin and welcomed to eternal life, we pray to the Lord...

Celebrant:

Father,
You do not disappoint
those who hope in You.
Increase our hope and answer our prayers.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bulletin Insert:
 

In the Dark

The following words were written by a young lady who had an abortion, and illustrate a common theme the Church encounters in those who have had abortions. Cases like this show the need for the efforts the pro-life movement makes to counsel those who feel pressured to abort, and to give them alternatives: “The counseling was only pro-abortion. No information was given to me about pro-life choices or agencies at the abortion clinic. They also told me it wouldn’t hurt. It was extremely painful. I was not told anything about how this would affect me for the rest of my life.”

Homily Suggestions:
 

Ex 17:3-7
Rom 5:1-2, 5-8
Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

Watch a video with homily hints

The readings of the Third Sunday of Lent, Cycle A, form a triduum along with those of the Fourth and Fifth Sundays, emphasizing the baptismal themes of Water (the woman at the well), Light (the healing of the man born blind), and Life (the raising of Lazarus). These powerful readings remind those preparing for baptism, as well as all the baptized, what this baptismal life is all about.

The Gospel passage of Jesus’ offer of the waters of new life to the Samaritan woman, along with the other readings of today, point out three things.

1. Jesus offers his gift of life with no regard to the false barriers that society sets up between people. “Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans.” Moreover, the disciples “were surprised to find him talking with a woman.” Jesus breaks through these false barriers that society had set up.

2. This gift of life comes through the Death and Resurrection of Christ. The rock in the first reading represents Christ. As Paul relates to the Corinthians (see 1Cor.10:4), the tradition was that the rock continued to follow the Israelites on the journey, and that the rock was Christ. The rock was struck, just as Christ was struck and crucified, and water flowed from his side. The second reading also emphasizes his Passion, death, and resurrection as the source of this new life, “poured into our hearts” like the water poured out of the rock.

3. To accept the gift, repentance is required. The woman had to go find her husband first, repenting of her multiple unions.

All of this illumines our pro-life commitment, because the offer of eternal life necessarily presupposes the offer of natural life – again, without the kind of false boundaries society now sets up between born and unborn.

Moreover, since Christ gives life, to stand with Christ means to stand with life, and therefore to stand against whatever destroys it. One simply cannot be a “pro-choice Christian.”

Finally, accepting Christ necessarily means repentance, which is concrete and “historical” in our lives. It includes a specific rejection of abortion. Any form of participation in abortion or of support for abortion is incompatible with the acceptance of Christ and the life of the baptized.


Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org