Monday, February 26, 2018

The Samaritan Woman - Mar. 4, 2018

The Third Sunday of Lent 
Year B

Reading I:   Exodus 17:3-7

Psalm:  95

Reading II:  Romans 5: 1-2, 5-8

Gospel:  John 4:5-42

The description of Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman in John’s Gospel has always touched me deeply. How sensitive Jesus is in his approach to her. First, he puts Himself in a vulnerable position by being one who is requesting a favor. He is very thirsty in an area where access to water can become a matter of life or death.

Jesus speaks to the woman with great respect in a place where women are considered inferior and the possessions of their husbands. In addition, He risks criticism as He is talking publicly with a woman, especially a Samaritan.

The woman is startled by Jesus’ request and questions his being a Jew who is asking a Samaritan for a drink. Jesus gently responds that if she knew who He was, she would have asked Him for “living water.”  Puzzled, she questions how He could give her water without a bucket to draw it up from the deep cistern.

Then, the woman wonders where Jesus would get the “living water.” She recalls her ancestor Jacob and his provision of the well. Finally, she questions: “Are you greater than our father Jacob?” Then she says: “I know the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; when He comes, He will tell us everything.” Jesus simply replies, “I am He, the one speaking with you.” You can imagine her excitement and her response by going about sharing the good news.

When the woman spread the word that Jesus had told her all she had done, many of the Samaritans began to believe in Him.  Because they asked Him to stay with them, Jesus remained for two days. After his time with them, the Samaritans told the woman that they believed in Him not because of her words, but what they had heard for themselves.

How blessed we are to have such a loving, caring, patient, sensitive, and understanding Savior!!!  Praise His Name! Praise His holy Name!!!

 Reflection Question:    One of the best ways to thank someone for his/her goodness is to pass it on.  How can we pass on the Lord’s goodness to us?

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...

The Samaritan Woman

La descripción de la interacción de Jesús con la mujer samaritana en el Evangelio de Juan siempre me ha conmovido profundamente. Cuán sensible es Jesús en su enfoque hacia ella. Primero, se pone en una posición vulnerable siendo uno que está solicitando un favor. Él está muy sediento en un área donde el acceso al agua puede convertirse en una cuestión de vida o muerte.

Jesús habla a la mujer con gran respeto en un lugar donde las mujeres son consideradas inferiores y las posesiones de sus maridos. Además, corre el riesgo de ser criticado ya que está hablando públicamente con una mujer, especialmente un samaritano.

La mujer se sobresalta por la petición de Jesús y le pregunta si es judío y está pidiendo un trago a un samaritano. Jesús responde amablemente que si ella supiera quién era, le habría pedido “agua viva”. Perpleja, desconcertada, le pregunta cómo podría darle agua sin un balde para sacarla de la cisterna. 

Entonces, la mujer se pregunta dónde obtendría Jesús el “agua viva”. Ella recuerda a su antepasado Jacob y su provisión del pozo. Finalmente, ella pregunta: “¿Eres mayor que nuestro padre Jacob?” Luego dice: “Sé que viene el Mesías, el llamado Cristo; cuando Él venga, nos dirá todo”. Jesús simplemente responde: “Yo soy Él, el que está hablando contigo”. Puedes imaginar su emoción y su respuesta compartiendo las buenas nuevas.

Cuando la mujer corrió la voz de que Jesús le había dicho todo lo que había hecho, muchos de los samaritanos comenzaron a creer en él. Debido a que le pidieron que se quedara con ellos, Jesús permaneció por dos días. Después de su tiempo con ellos, los samaritanos le dijeron a la mujer que creían en Él no por sus palabras, sino por lo que habían oído por sí mismas.

¡Cuán afortunados somos de tener un Salvador tan amoroso, atento, paciente, sensible y comprensivo! ¡Alabado sea su nombre! ¡Alabado sea su santo nombre!

 Pregunta de reflexión:    Una de las mejores formas de agradecerle a alguien por su bondad es transmitiéndola. ¿Cómo podemos transmitir la bondad del Señor hacia nosotros?


  1. The best way we can pass on the Lord’s goodness to us is by sharing it with others. We are called to evangelize by deed and by word so our actions and our conversations should be carried out in a spirit of respect and acceptance. That is the example Jesus modeled. He initiated a conversation with the Samaritan woman thus affirming and validating her. Her encounter with Jesus resulted in her conversion. She put down her jar, went into the city, and announced Christ, becoming the first evangelist in the gospel of John.
    This gospel story is one of my favorites because it invites me to visit my own well and truthfully, sometimes painfully, see what I am filling my vessel with and evaluate how effectively it is satisfying my thirst.
    I first met Sr. Annette in 2011 when she offered a Lenten series at St. Katharine Drexel Motherhouse. One of the lessons she presented was "The Woman at the Well." At that time I was filling my jug (an empty void) with relationships; looking for love just like the woman at the well. I recognized that it was a fruitless activity; years of such seeking left me parched and spiritually dehydrated! Today, I realize that Spirit was pursuing me and Sr. Annette was the influence that led to my remembrance of who and Whose I am. We all stand to benefit from being reminded of, and reminding others of, our belovedness in the eyes of the Lord.
    Bishop Robert Barron references the story of the Woman at the Well to teach about God’s Divine Mercy. God’s Divine Mercy is relentless, always on a quest for us. Jesus traveled through Samaria, a path not typically taken by Jews because He desired to reach out to the marginalized. The woman traveled to the well at the noon hour – the hottest time of the day – so she would not encounter anyone. She was a public sinner; alienated from the people in her community. Jesus wants to draw her into his divine life; she seeks intimacy. The two meet at the well. “In-to-me-see”. Jesus leads her beyond what she thinks she wants (a temporary physical fill-up) to what she really needs (the inner experience of spiritual fulfillment). This unnamed woman represents me, you and all the church.
    Without daily spiritual nourishment we feel an emptiness which no amount of drink, food, drugs or alcohol, shopping, gambling or social media can fill. Jesus told the woman, and His Word tells us today, that we need to stop going repeatedly to the well. It is time to “put down the jar.” We need to get out of the negative rhythm that we are stuck in and let go of the things that are blocking the flow of divine life in us.
    Once we accept Christ’s invitation to drink of His Living Water and experience the living fountain within us, His Divine Mercy sends us on a mission.
    According to Bishop Barron,” no one is ever given an experience of God without being sent.” Barron’s definition of evangelization is, “one beggar telling another beggar where there’s bread.” He makes a point that evangelization is not just telling facts about Jesus. Rather, “real evangelization comes from people who have put down the water jar and are under the influence of God’s Divine Mercy.” Thus, we are both bearer and announcer of God’s gift of Mercy.
    In a reflection entitled, “Lent and the Samaritan Woman,” Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio suggests that we become aware of the spiritual needs of those around us to share God’s love and to invite them to Church. There are more people searching for God than we realize, awaiting such an invitation. So, as we go through our day today, let’s remember the Bread of Life and look for someone to share it with! Pat C., ASBS

  2. Sr. Therese M. Warner, SBSFebruary 27, 2018 at 9:07 AM

    Amen! What a touching and inspiring tribute to our Blessed Savior! Thank you for sharing, Sister!

    The following excerpts are from a homily delivered by Fr. Rene Butler, MS:

    " 'I am in charge here. I give the orders! Is that clear?'
    Even if I really believed that, I would be well advised not to say it aloud. But let's suppose I came into your house or place of work and said the same thing. It wouldn't be long before somebody said, "and just who do you think you are?"

    "In giving the ten commandments, God seems to have anticipated that very question. So He begins by stating clearly and emphatically, just Who He is. 'I, the Lord, am your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.'
    And, in case you missed it the first time, He says, three verses later, 'I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God.' The commandments that follow are really, really important, but the statements of Who God is are more important still. They are the foundation of all the rest. 'Why not kill?' 'Because I say so, and I am the Lord your God.' 'Why not steal?', etc."

    "St. Paul writes: 'Jews demand signs.' We see this in today's Gospel. 'What sign can you show us for doing this?' means 'just who do you think you are? By what right have you done this? Prove that you have the authority.' "

    "In the Old Testament, proof often took the form of a contest. Victory would be God's choice. Greeks, that is the gentile world, on the other hand, look for wisdom. The contest is between minds, a battle of wits, if you like. Those who demand signs say 'Force me to believe'. Those who look for wisdom say,
    'Prove it to me.'"

    "But here we are , with Christ crucified as our most powerful sign and most eloquent wisdom. 'and just Who do you think He is?' "

    "The answer to that question really, really matters, because it also says Who Christ crucified is in relation to you. Lord and servant? Savior and sinner? Redeemer and redeemed? Teacher and disciple? It is not a multiple choice question, but the correct answer is: 'All of the above and MORE!' "

    Fr. Rene Butler, Director
    La Salette Shrine
    Enfield NH