Third Sunday of Lent – 1st Scrutiny

I had a couple of nicknames growing up…
1. one was “Jimbo”
2. another was “JAMIE”
3. The one I received in High School …. I won’t tell you!!! LOL


We do “nickname” people in our lives, out of “affection” for the person. Many times we “shorten” their names too:

Unfortunately, we may have “nicknames” for people we don’t like!……… those with different skin color
Those with different nationality
Those with different political ideals
Those with different outlooks on gender and marriage!

Todays, Long Gospel story ….. is one about …… Jesus having MERCY on people who are “different”or considered, by leaders of the day, to be out of the circle of society and who had “bad nicknames” I’m sure. BAD NICKNAMES are nothing new!

JESUS actually builds up these people who have been considered different, and teaches us (the church) to not tear people down, to not hold people as outcasts, as the leaders and society were doing to some people.

A priest has to use this Gospel story when there is an RCIA group getting ready to “join us” in our Catholic faith.

This is the Gospel story to teach them (and remind us), that the “radical Jesus” expects the church members to imitate him in all ways, and especially, especially to avoid prejudices and “name-calling”!

Jesus did show mercy to the SAMRITAN WOMAN and so we are asked to show mercy to all persons of different race, creed, and religion. Here’s where the church receives a social justice message….it comes from this GOSPEL (and others).

JESUS also talked with the woman and became friends with the woman telling us that we should be doing the same… becoming a united community.

Who do you “hang around with”?
Who are your friends?
What strikes you about them so as to hang around them?
What do you do for them? How do you treat them?

People typically hang around people who are “similar”, even though they say “opposites attract “and are friendly to one another.

But think for a minute….. Someone on your street, at your place of employment, in your school, and in our city ……there are people who are “DIFFERENT” than you and I and we may tend to ignore.

In Jesus’s actions …..
our church should continue this MERCY on:

The African
The Indian
The gay
The refugee
The Muslim
The republican
The democrat

The people we don’t typically “hang with” should not be ruled out of our lives, but respected. Remember, JESUS wanted UNITY and CHARITY in our diversity. At least, no more name-calling.

Jesus today accepted the Samaritan woman, who was in a bad marriage, whom He wasn’t supposed to talk with. She actually came to the well in the afternoon…to avoid the Jews who always came to the well in the morning (SHE WANTED TO AVOID THEM AND THEIR “NAME-CALLING”) and somehow, Jesus MADE IT HIS SPECIFIC PURPOSE to be there at the same time the Samaritan woman would be there, to show us that we need to be specific in our attempts to LOVE ALL PEOPLE, TO ACCEPT ALL PEOPLE. TO BUILD UP ALL PEOPLE.

Like Jesus, we need to take the initiative.


Lent IS A TIME TO CHANGE OUR LIVES….. and so why can’t it be to, if this applies to us, to lay down our biased judgement of people and to pick up an attitude and action of mercy, kindness, acceptance, for ALL which is the goal of our Catholic Church.


  1. Reply
    Suzanne Sharnsky says:

    So Beautiful. …

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