Sunday, March 15, 2009
John 4: 5 - 42
At that time, 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."
Rev. Thomas Gariepy, C.S.C. '70
Professor and Chairperson, Healthcare Administration
After being away from the Church for many years, Charlie decided it was time to return. He was nervous at his first Mass when the celebrant began praying for the needs of congregation and spotted him. "You, sir!" he said, "Please come forward. Do you have anything we can pray for?"
"Well," Charlie said, "you can pray for my hearing."
With great zeal the priest put his hands on Charlie's ears and prayed for healing. "Now," asked the priest, "How's your hearing?"
"My hearing? Oh, that's not until Tuesday."
How easy it is to misunderstand each other! We think we speak clearly yet other people hear something clearly different from what we thought we had said. John's Gospel today uses misunderstanding to illustrate theology. Jesus spoke about water and food and the woman and the disciples instead heard him talk about water to drink and food to eat. Jesus had to explain that he is our living water and food. Sometimes we think we are superior to the people in Gospel stories because we know what Jesus meant. How could they be so slow to understand?
Lent offers opportunities to ask ourselves if we truly understand what the Lord says to us. Because of our certainty that we understand what Jesus means, have Gospel texts become so familiar that we don't pay them much attention? Can we hear them anew as did the people in the stories? Let us pray that the Spirit strengthen our hearing-especially for the Word.