The woman at the well reflection
During the six weeks of Lent , Bishop Donal McKeown invites us, as individuals, as families and parish faith communities of the Diocese of Derry, to use the six Sunday Gospels of Lent to look at the life of service to which God is calling all of us, as the disciples of Jesus. Priests and parishioners of the diocese are asked to create opportunities in their parish for discussion of each Gospel reflection. The parish conversation may take place over a cup of tea after Mass, it might take place after a Weekday Mass, it might be in the form of a more structured discussion perhaps put together by the Parish Pastoral Council. It could be a case of handing out flyers at Mass with the discussion points, so that families can discuss them at home. Bishop Donal's third reflection for consideration is outlined below. The story of the 'nameless' Samaritan Woman at the Well, recorded only in the Gospel of St John, is full of truths and powerful lessons.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Third Sunday of Lent: The Woman at the Well Reflection Video
In Truth and Charity: The woman at the well
What makes this world so lovely is that somewhere it hides a well. I think it comes at a perfect time as after a few weeks of our Lenten journey, we are certainly in need of a well! She is a Samaritan, a race of people the Jews utterly despise as having no claim on their God…and she is also an outcast, one who is looked down upon by her own people.
She comes alone in the heat of the day to draw water from the community well. This is unusual as drawing water and chatting at the well early in the day is the social highpoint for most other women. She is ostracized and marked as immoral, an unmarried woman living openly with the sixth in a series of men. Can we place ourselves at the well and watch the interaction between Jesus and the woman? He throws out a line to the woman with a lure on it!
Perhaps he stayed by the well to do just that. He asks her for a drink. His gaze is upon this woman and he is provocative and challenging. He casts the line a second time telling her that the water he gives will turn into a spring inside her — now he is really dangling that brightly coloured lure before her.
She seems to hear this time and wants this water that means she will never get thirsty again, never have to come to the well again, never have to be embarrassed again by having to come secretly in the middle of the day. But, Jesus wants to lure her even more so he casts again. I will lure her into the wilderness where I can speak to her heart.
I will betroth her with integrity and justice, with tenderness and love. I will love the Unloved and say to No People of Mine that you are my people.
When Jesus confronts her with her life of sin and tells her that he is the Messiah, the woman suddenly forgets her reason for being at the well; she leaves her water jug behind and hurries back to tell the people to Come and see a man who has told me everything I ever did; I wonder if he is the Christ? Jesus has lured her into his love, forgiveness and mercy and in doing so, frees her to leave her old life behind.
His loving gaze surrounds her and washes over her — she is now wanted, cared for at last, no longer an outcast, not shamed or put down or dismissed, here was someone who could see something of value in her. This is grace… this is the living water, the loving gaze that Jesus pours upon her and upon all of us. As I said, we all know this story well but the Church gives it to us every year at this time in Lent so that we can plumb its depths a little more… for, like a good well, it will always provide much more of that life-giving stuff!
And, like the love and mercy of our God, its ability to refresh and renew us is limitless. So, I suggest to all of us over the coming days leading up to this weekend, to search for a well, an oasis in our Lenten journey. And in whatever form you choose to pray, put yourself in the same position as the Samaritan woman… approach the well as you are, with all your gifts, characteristics, problems, worries, failings… and meet Jesus there.
Strike up a conversation… maybe you will start, maybe he will… take it slow, meet his gaze and hold it if you can, feel his eyes upon you, listen a lot…perhaps to words, or perhaps to his gaze or maybe just sit in silence with him… whatever happens in your encounter, dip your bucket deep in the well of that life-giving water offered so freely to us, the waters of cleansing, love, grace, mercy and refreshment.
And, we only have to look around at the effects of all this water to see just what refreshment it can bring. May each of us find one this coming week and drink deeply with delight! The words I have been quoting from Macrina are but a taste of her beautiful reflection.
Something lovely there is about a well so deep un-piped and real filled with buckets and buckets of that life-giving drink. A faucet will do in a hurry, but what makes the world so lovely is that somewhere it hides a well!
Sometimes people are like wells deep and real natural un-piped life-giving, calm and cool, refreshing. They bring out what is best in you They are like fountains of pure joy They make you want to sing or maybe, dance. They encourage you to laugh even, when things get rough. Some experiences are like wells too. People create them They are life-giving happenings They are redeeming experiences They are wells, Wells of wonder, Wells of hope. When you find a well and, you will some day, Drink deeply of the gift within.
So, lift up your eyes and look around you: Over the mountains, down in the valley out in the ocean, over the runways into the cities, into the country sidewalks and highways paths in the forest into the hearts of a thirsty people.
Third Sunday of Lent: The Woman at the Well
Throughout the gospels in the New Testament, there are many stories about encounters between Jesus and seemingly random people. I often study these scriptures and sometimes, commentaries in an attempt to extract meaning from these brief exchanges. One of the encounters is between Jesus and a Samaritan woman, who is often referred to as the woman at the well.
Question: "What can we learn from the woman at the well? This was an extraordinary woman. She was a Samaritan , a race of people that the Jews utterly despised as having no claim on their God, and she was an outcast and looked down upon by her own people. However, this woman was ostracized and marked as immoral, an unmarried woman living openly with the sixth in a series of men. The story of the woman at the well teaches us that God loves us in spite of our bankrupt lives.
Reflection on the Gospel: The Samaritan Woman at the Well
This Samaritan woman goes to the well in the heat of the day most likely because she wanted to avoid running into others who would look on her as a tainted woman. She is surprised to encounter a man, and even more a Jewish man, who initiates a conversation with her. She was already vulnerable because of her past and when she meets this man, Jesus, she could immediately recognize his acceptance. So she is comfortable enough to offer him a drink of water. In turn, he offers her more, an invitation to get in touch with the thirst in her soul which she had tried to satisfy with multiple love affairs. Filled with his acceptance and realizing she had found someone who could fulfill her deepest longings, she runs to others to spread the good news. So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
The Woman at the Well: How Transformation Happens
This Sunday, the Third Sunday of Lent, we will hear in the Gospel the story of the encounter and conversation of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. I invite you to think about the thirst of Jesus and the thirst of the woman in the Gospel, representing also our thirst, the thirst of our souls. On the surface, Jesus was naturally thirsty. Jesus asks the woman for a drink of water.
The story of the woman at the well is one of the most well known in the Bible; many Christians can easily tell a summary of it. On its surface, the story chronicles ethnic prejudice and a woman shunned by her community. But take look deeper, and you'll realize it reveals a great deal about Jesus' character. Above all, the story, which unfolds in John , suggests that Jesus is a loving and accepting God, and we should follow his example.
3rd Sunday of Lent: Woman At The Well
.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Lenten Life Series: The Woman at the Well - lent reflection 2020
Woman at the Well: A Story of a Loving God