The long Gospel (John 4:5-42) of Jesus’ meeting the woman at the well speaks of water and faith. Jesus reaches out to the woman. He begins the life-giving conversation which will end not only in her own belief in God, but also in many others coming to believe. The gospel describes how a Samaritan woman went to draw water from the village well. She sees Jesus sitting beside it. He asks her for a drink. She wonders why he should speak of her since Jews and Samaritans were traditional enemies. It shocks the woman that Jesus would talk to her because she is Samaritan, she is a woman, and she is an outcast even among the other Samaritan women. Yet this is the one Jesus invites to believe in him and to spread the faith to other women, other Samaritans and other people.
Jesus asks for water. He invites the Samaritan woman to a relationship with God by making his own need known to her. Jesus then invites her to receive the living (flowing) water which He offers. She thinks that Jesus is talking about another source of drinking water that is not as deep as Jacob’s well. She wants this flowing water so she does not have to keep coming on her own to draw water. Jesus is speaking of a spiritual water that gives spiritual life.
He is offering her the gift of faith. It is only as the conversation develops that she becomes aware of the other dimension of Jesus’ promise of living water. Jesus, on the spiritual level, thirsts for her soul. He gives her the living water so she can go home without her buckets and face her own people.
The Samaritan becomes a proclaimer of this faith-full relationship. Her past does not hinder her from being a messenger of Good News. She has a story to tell. We all have a story to share with other people. We all have stories that can bring other people into a relationship with God. As a result, others come to Jesus and ask him to stay and share His gifts with them. This season of Lent invites us to go back to our families and friends and tell them what God has done for you.
Go back to the story of the Samaritan woman and Jesus and try to catch a word or phrase from the reading which you will carry with you this week.
Lord Jesus help me to accept each moment as it comes to me with faith and trust. Help me to seek you not in far-off places but most especially in your presence in the Holy Eucharist. Above all help me to be grateful for all that God has done for me. Amen