Bulletin Shorts for the Third Sunday of Lent

Bulletin Shorts for the Third Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent – 20 March 2022


The Readings of Year A: When we celebrate the three scrutinies with the elect, the Church requires we use the Lectionary Year A readings.  These ancient biblical texts – Woman at the Well, Man Born Blind, and Raising of Lazarus – are so apt for our Christian formation, they can be used every Lent, replacing the Year B and Year C texts even if the scrutinies are not celebrated.

About Scrutinies.  We celebrate three rites of scrutiny with the elect in the midst of Lent on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays to uncover and then heal what is sinful and wrong.  As we strengthen them, we look within ourselves, within the Church, and into the world for the same uncovering and healing.

Year A readings:  Exodus 17:3-7.  Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9.  Romans 5:1-2, 5-8.  John 4:5-42.

Reflecting on Water.  Water, water, everywhere.  Water in the Exodus through the sea and flowing from the rock in Horeb.  Water in Jacob’s well.  Living water is found only in Jesus, becoming a spring of eternal life.

  • In preparing to renew baptismal promises this Easter, how will my figuratively drinking at the well of Baptism today nourish my Christian life?
  • Each time I dip my fingers in the font, I will pray for __________?
  • When the First Scrutiny is celebrated with the elect this Sunday, how will I also shun with them all that is wrong in our lives, in the Church, and in our world?


The Readings for Year C: When the scrutinies are not celebrated with the elect, the Lectionary readings for the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent in Year C, though not required, may be used.  The Year A readings, however, may always be used in every year on these Sundays.

Year C readings:  Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15.  Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11.  1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12.  Luke 13:1-9.

Reflecting on a Tree and a Bush.  In Luke’s parable, the gardener wants to give the unproductive fig tree a second chance.  Here is an image of God’s tending to all of us – always wanting the opportunity for second (and third and fourth and…) chances.  In the Exodus account, God, in an unconsumed burning bush, speaks to Moses.  Both vineyard and Horeb are holy ground, places for God’s saving activity.

  • How will I work the holy ground of my life this week, this Lent?
  • What fruit will my life bear?
  • How will I listen and respond to what God calls out to me?

Use this prayer card to be ever mindful of the Works of Mercy.

Prayer Card - The Works of Mercy

This post was first published on the worship pages of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois website.
Sunday Prayer Shaping Life and Belief
Written by Eliot Kapitan.
Permission is given to use, reprint, and distribute these bulletin shorts in any way you find helpful for your community.
Image credit: Photo by Dakota Roos on Unsplash.

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