Please click on the link for a full copy of the newsletter 28 February – 3rd Sunday of Lent
Jesus – Life giving Water
With the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, the Gospel of John presents Jesus as the Life-giving Word for all, source of living water, a fountain welling up from within a person to provide authentic life in the Spirit. Thirst, is a metaphor for the human dependence upon God. We can say that Jesus, too, was thirsty for our faith.
After the conversation, the Samaritan woman becomes a disciple. Even though she is an outcast and not a Jew, she returns to her town to lead others to Jesus and to wonder whether she has found the Messiah. The Samaritan townspeople return with her to meet Jesus for themselves, and many are said to come to believe in him.
The significance of the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman has many levels. The first is personal: The woman is herself converted to belief in Jesus as Messiah because he knows her sin but speaks with her just the same. The second is social: Having come to know Jesus as the Messiah, the Samaritan woman becomes an evangelist to her own people. The third level of the story is educational: Jesus uses his encounter with the Samaritan woman to teach his disciples that God’s mercy is without limit. The disciples return from their shopping quite confused to find Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman. But the conversion of the Samaritan townspeople is a foretaste of the kind of open community that will be created among those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah.
Our relationship with the Lord is the water of our lives which is essential for our well-being and the source of our joy. Without the Lord we would wither away like dried leaves in the desert and with Him we have life in abundance. Meeting Jesus and discovering him as our Savior is a gift of God. He thirsts for each and every one of us and always in search of us. Even if we fail to recognize him, he understands us and demands from us only simple things like water since his yoke is easy and burden is light. However, he opens to us the fountains of grace and vitality coming from God that wells up to life eternal.