Gospel Reflection Mar 13 – Deacon Paul

Sunday, March 12

Third Sunday of Lent

John 4: 5-42


Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,

near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.

Jacob’s well was there.

Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.

It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.

Jesus said to her,

“Give me a drink.”

His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.

The Samaritan woman said to him,

“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”

—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—

Jesus answered and said to her,

“If you knew the gift of God

and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘

you would have asked him

and he would have given you living water.”

The woman said to him,

“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;

where then can you get this living water?

Are you greater than our father Jacob,

who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself

with his children and his flocks?”

Jesus answered and said to her,

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;

but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;

the water I shall give will become in him

a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him,

“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty

or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Jesus said to her,

“Go call your husband and come back.”

The woman answered and said to him,

“I do not have a husband.”

Jesus answered her,

“You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’

For you have had five husbands,

and the one you have now is not your husband.

What you have said is true.”

The woman said to him,

“Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.

Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;

but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus said to her,

“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming

when you will worship the Father

neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

You people worship what you do not understand;

we worship what we understand,

because salvation is from the Jews.

But the hour is coming, and is now here,

when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;

and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.

God is Spirit, and those who worship him

must worship in Spirit and truth.”

The woman said to him,

“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;

when he comes, he will tell us everything.”

Jesus said to her,

“I am he, the one speaking with you.”

At that moment his disciples returned,

and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,

but still no one said, “What are you looking for?”

or “Why are you talking with her?”

The woman left her water jar

and went into the town and said to the people,

“Come see a man who told me everything I have done.

Could he possibly be the Christ?”

They went out of the town and came to him.

Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”

But he said to them,

“I have food to eat of which you do not know.”

So the disciples said to one another,

“Could someone have brought him something to eat?”

Jesus said to them,

“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me

and to finish his work.

Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’?

I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.

The reaper is already receiving payment

and gathering crops for eternal life,

so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.

For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’

I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;

others have done the work,

and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him

because of the word of the woman who testified,

“He told me everything I have done.”

When the Samaritans came to him,

they invited him to stay with them;

and he stayed there two days.

Many more began to believe in him because of his word,

and they said to the woman,

“We no longer believe because of your word;

for we have heard for ourselves,

and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

Gospel Reflection:

Today’s story of Jesus speaking with the Samaritan Woman at the well is one of the most well known in the Bible. Here at Saint Brigid, we have an image of the Samaritan Woman hanging by the main doors of our church just outside the bell tower.

The unnamed Samaritan woman was surprised that Jesus was speaking with her, because during that time men didn’t publicly speak to women, plus the Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. Today, Jesus told the woman that he could give her “living water” that would truly quench her thirst, and that it would become in her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Now, Jesus knew that this woman had many disappointments in her life and that she was thirsty for meaning in her life. She was thirsty for love and her life-thirst was not being satisfied. She was unhappy and she hadn’t found anyone or anything that could satisfy the deep longing of her heart…until she met Jesus.

Friends, Lent is a time for us to quench our thirst, to rediscover the meaning of our lives in Christ. And this is a special time for us to encounter Jesus, just like the Samaritan Woman did at the well, and to be transformed by our encounter with Jesus, just like she was. For the Lord wants to also give us this living water too. This is why He came to earth, so we might have life and have it abundantly. But sin can be an obstacle for us in having a full life in Christ.

During Lent this year, let us take the opportunity to establish a deeper conversion with our Lord, and let us remember that Jesus also thirsts for us to surrender our lives to Him and to entrust ourselves to Him. And so, today, let the Samaritan woman’s prayer be our prayer: “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty.”

Deacon Paul Zemanek