Harden not your hearts! As the fast and discipline of Lent continues, two things might be happening, either our hearts are opening up more and more to the Lord, or they grow closed off, hard as rock.
This what happened to the people of Israel in our first reading (cf Exodus 17:3-7). Their time of wandering, fasting, and hardship in the desert, hardened their hearts.
They had seen all the wonders and mighty deeds that the Lord had done for them when he set them free from bondage in Egypt. But now they're thirsty, tired, and they begin to grumble.
Our responsorial psalm gives us a warning from this example "Oh, that today you would hear his voice: "Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert, Where your fathers tempted me; they tested me though they had seen my works" (Psalm 95:8-9).
The people were thirsty, God told Moses to "strike the rock and the water will flow from it." It happened. Moses struck the rock, and water flowed out, and the people had the temerity to still ask "is the Lord with us or not?" (cf Exodus 17:3-7)
In the Gospel, the Lord Jesus is in a town of Samaria and he goes over to a well, the well of Jacob, and sits down. John gives us this little detail: it was about noon (cf. John 4:5–42).
This is the hottest time of day, and Jesus is thirsty. A woman comes out to the well. At noon. The thing of it is, the women of a village collected all their water, washed their clothes at the well before noon. otherwise it'd be too hot. Perhaps because of this woman's marital situation, she didn't want to bear the scorn of the other women. She has had five husbands and the man she lives with now is not her husband. She went to the well expecting to find no one, instead she found Him.
He says to her first "l'm thirsty." He thirsts for souls, he's thirsty for her soul. He wants to give her living water that will well up to eternal life. He also says to her the hour of true worship is coming. And it is almost that hour, that appointed time. As St. Paul tells us in our second reading." For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly." (Romans 5:6)
That would be the hour when Jesus, the rock of our salvation, is struck upon the Cross by a lance, causing blood and water to flow from his pierced side. Like the water from the rock.
That cleansing water is love and the Holy Spirit. That love of God has been poured into our hearts (cf Romans 5:5).
If we hear his voice, how can our hearts remain hardened?
God bless you all,
Father Robert Letona