Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent 2023

Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent 2023

On this third Sunday of Lent 2023 we share a reflection prepared by the Sisters Adorers, delegation of Japan:

Now that it is Lent, our garden is two shades of green and brown, in anticipation of spring. I water when the soil dries out. As I water and watch the plants and flowers grow little by little, I feel my heart quietly filling.

Jesus sat by the well, tired, and asked the Samaritan woman for “water” (John 4・5-42).

The encounter with Jesus transformed the Samaritan woman into “a woman who deeply knows and accepts herself and proclaims the Gospel.” And after hearing her story, many Samaritans confessed their faith, saying that they had met Jesus and “knew that he was the true Savior, not because you told me, but because I heard it for myself.”

In the course of his dialogue with Jesus he felt more and more transparent. He must have been absorbed by Jesus’ presence and words. Being captivated by Jesus, we tell just as it is and accept it. Was it because she herself realized that she had been inwardly liberated by Jesus loving her as she was? With a painful past, she used to go to the well during the day to avoid being seen. But that painful past was transformed into an opportunity to meet and welcome Jesus. Therefore, she run to the village to announce the One who had set her free.

St. Maria Micaela wrote about her experience on the day of Pentecost 1847 (Autobiografia 3,27). This experience placed St. Maria Micaela in God’s hands to do his will throughout her life, and she dedicated her entire existence to the salvation of the most destitute women of her time. Like that Samaritan woman, St. Maria Micaela’s apostolic mission consisted in restoring the dignity of women and proclaiming with her own life the experience of liberation that only God can provide.

In Japan, in 2023, women will also turn to the Adorers’ community to confide their suffering. “It’s hard because I’ve been living away from my family for years and the violence and verbal abuse, I suffered at home still controls me”. “I give too much of myself to others because my parents were strict. I can’t take care of myself. I suffer.” Ages and situations vary, but this is how I would summarize what they say. “You’re an adult, aren’t you?”, “You walk on your own two feet in your own life.” “Even though what you say seems right to me,” I respond, and “The people who used to control me are no longer around me. I can choose my own life”. It seems that, for a moment, they realize this. Perhaps a moment of awareness came through my trivial words into the light of consciousness of which I was unaware. And we entertain them with the nourishment of a well-cleaned room, flowers grown in our garden, and lovingly prepared dishes and cakes.

The cries of these women’s hearts are like winter seeds sprouting and leafing out of the dark earth. Someday they are sure to produce beautiful flowers.“I have so much terrible sadness inside me, I live and cry. Thank you for your kindness and hospitality today. Watching the lives of the sisters has made me realize that this is what it means to be human.” One woman was able to write this on LINE after meeting us.

The plants and flowers in the garden, which are life, also receive water from us and share their life with us, releasing our life to us. We also receive the water of life in worship, and feel that we are living in the light of their lives and words as we share it.

Japanese versión


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