Third Sunday of Lent, Year A, Intermediate

Download PDF

Intermediate Session

Exodus 17:3-7
John 4:5-42


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O God,
thank you for the gift of faith.
Help us to grow in our love for you each day.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The image for today is water. To begin, create a small potted garden with the children that can be placed in their meeting space. Provide a clay pot, potting soil, approximately three small plants and a small cross to fit in the pot with the plants and soil. Plant a mini garden with the soil, plants and cross. Then have the children water the garden. Discuss:

  • What do plants need to survive?
  • What do people need to survive?
  • How does God help us to live?

Allow time for discussion. All living things need water to survive. Water is an image used during the season of Lent to symbolize our need for God. On this Third Sunday of Lent we are reminded of our thirst for God’s gift of faith.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading today the people of Israel are thirsty. Listen to find out how God answers Moses’ prayer.

Read Exodus 17:3-7.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why do the people complain to Moses?
  • What does Moses do?
  • How does God answer Moses’ prayer?

In the gospel today listen to find out what kind of water Jesus has to offer.

Read John 4:5-42.

Allow for silence.

  • Where does Jesus meet the Samaritan woman?
  • What kind of water does Jesus offer the woman?
  • Where does the woman go and what does she do after meeting Jesus?


Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings using the Catechist Background section.

In the Old Testament reading today the people of Israel grumble and complain to Moses. They are thirsty and tired. The people begin to question Moses for bringing them out of Egypt. Moses responds in faith. He turns to God for answers. Moses believes in God’s power to save, and God hears the prayer of his faithful servant. Moses strikes a rock to bring forth water and God’s saving presence is made known.

In today’s Gospel Jesus invites a woman to come to faith in him. The woman from Samaria is an image of faithlessness. Her meeting with Jesus at Jacob’s well begins with caution. She questions Jesus when he asks her for a drink. Jesus does not give up on the woman. He offers her something to satisfy her innermost thirst, the gift of faith. The Samaritan woman soon comes to understand that she thirsts for the living water of God’s love. Jesus alone can give this gift of life-giving water. The woman opens her heart to Jesus’ gift and she recognizes him as the Messiah. With her heart filled and her thirst quenched, the woman goes off to tell others about Jesus.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What does the image of water symbolize in today’s readings?
  • Why does the woman ask Jesus for living water?
  • How does Jesus invite you to have faith in him?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Faith as a Gift

Faith is a gift from God. Faith is our response to God reaching out to us. In other words, God acts first. The Catholic term for God’s action is grace. God invites us to be in relationship with the divine. We, in turn, are given the freedom to respond, accepting or rejecting this offer.

God prepares the ground for this relationship in love. Every person has an innermost longing for God. Only by responding to God’s gift of faith can we quench our inner thirst.

  • What is faith?
  • What is grace?
  • How does the Church help you respond to God’s gift of faith?


The Gospel in Life

How can you choose to accept God’s gift of faith during the season of Lent?

Posted in: Sessions A