3rd Sunday of Lent 2014
THE WOMAN AT THE WELL
As we continue our journey of prayer for lent we come to the 3rd Sunday and our gospel story for this weekend tells us about the Samaritan woman at the well. One of the responses for the Easter Vigil is with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation and this sums up what the reading from johns gospel is about. It is about the great joy that comes from being a Christian a believer in the good news of the Gospel.
Jesus breaks the law to speak to a Samaritan woman who had come to Jacob’s well to draw water. What a surprise it must have been to her, when Jesus, tired, hungry and thirsty, asks her for a drink of water! He broke all the rules in speaking to her. Now, He keeps on talking, ignoring her hostility, aware that, in this unexpected encounter, the Father has provided Him with an opportunity for piercing the heart of this sinful woman with His love and also leaving an example for all those who thirst. Jesus suggests that He can give her living water that is far superior to anything she had ever tasted. Certainly her five husbands (plus her newest lover) haven’t brought her what she is really looking for. We know that she had tried cheap love, and i am sure she was no stranger to intoxication, power, and money! This isn’t a gentle lady who comes to draw water from the well, but a toughened cynic. Cynical with the world around her in her time as so many are cynical in our modern world for many different reasons.
Jesus forgets His own needs, and offers this woman living water that is spiritual grace. Finding her heart curious and open to this miraculous water, He proceeds to raise her vision. He asks her to go back and bring her husband to the well with her. Of course, this is the turning point of the story. When He confronts her with the truth, she could have flounced off in righteous indignation and denial as many people do when confronted with the truth but she doesn’t. In true humility, she accepts the reality of her sordid life. Because of her humility, Jesus floods her soul with grace. Dropping her bucket, she runs back to spread the good news. “I’ve found the Messiah!” And she had!
Lent is a time for us to let Jesus satisfy our thirst for the truth. Like that woman, we too have tried the wrong kinds of water to quench our thirst for happiness, satisfaction, and peace of mind without really finding it. The psalm in the Easter Vigil tells us that with joy we will draw water from the wells of salvation and this is the time for us to find real joy and satisfaction of letting the Lord fill us with the grace during the season of Lent in order to fully enjoy the season of Easter. We will find that our joy from that comes from the well of salvation the living water is greatest when we share the gift of salvation with others by really listening to them, praying from the heart in a quiet place, reflecting on the Word privately or at daily Mass, and letting the Eucharist change us into the Body of Christ. The Samaritan woman reminds those who doubt, or struggle with faith and we are all like that as we all have doubts to stay in a conversation with Christ.
She came looking for physical water and found Jesus, the “living water,” who would quench her thirsty spirit. May we find joy at the wells of salvation which is Jesus Christ the light of the world. Today we also think of those adults who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil as they continue their particular journey and we pray in a special for them, their families and all the people who are journeying with them at this time. They are seeking with joy the wells of salvation as they head towards their baptism at Easter.