3/12/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: John 4:5-42
5 Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
8 His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
9 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.)
10 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.”
11 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?
12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?”
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
14 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.”
15 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.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come back.” The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.”
17 Jesus answered her, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
18 For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews.
23 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.
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.”
25 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.”
26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one speaking with you.”
27 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?”
28 The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people,
29 “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?”
30 They went out of the town and came to him.
31 Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”
32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
33 So the disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.
35 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.
36 The reaper is already receiving payment and gathering crops for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
37 For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
38 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.”
39 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.”
40 When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.
41 Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
42 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.”
3/12/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: John 4:5-42
Jesus is truly the savior of the world. He came to draw all people to His Father regardless of background. He knows everything about everyone. He is the light and nothing is hidden to Him. Yet, He does not allow our dark secrets to hinder us from receiving His offer of salvation. On the contrary, He makes the initiative to make Him known to us though we are unworthy because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
During the time of Jesus, Jews were not in good terms with the Samarians whom they consider as impure and Rabbis would be very careful to speak with women privately. That is why, Jesus’ disciples were shocked to see Him talking to that Samaritan woman at the well. Yet, the offer of salvation knows no gender nor ethnicity. For the mission to be successful, the wall of division must be broken down.
The woman at the well may be the least person in Samaria to have a face to face encounter with the Lord yet it is to her that He made Himself known as the source of living water. God’s love is powerful and His mercy is available to anyone. After her encounter with Jesus, this woman left her water jar and became an instant evangelist. She went around proclaiming that she met the Christ and many people began to believe in Him.
Jesus indeed broke the proverbial glass ceiling. He showed us that women too can do the work of salvation. He showed us that there is hope in mankind, that people can be converted, that anyone can receive and partake of the living bread and drink the living water that Jesus offers.
May the woman at the well inspire us to keep spreading the Good News of salvation. Like her, we may not have been appointed officially as a pastor or priest yet Jesus is telling us, “Look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest” (John 4:35). Let us go forth and reap the harvest for the glory of God.