For the Gospel tomorrow, the Third Sunday of Lent, we will contemplate on the powerful encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, one of the most transformative stories in the Bible.
In the gospel, we learn about a Samaritan woman who went to draw water from a well and encountered Jesus, tired and thirsty from his journey.
Despite their cultural differences and the longstanding animosity between Jews and Samaritans, Jesus engaged the woman in conversation and offered her living water, which would quench her thirst forever.
The woman was initially surprised that a Jewish man would speak to her, but Jesus did not judge or condemn her.
Instead, he revealed he was the Messiah, whom the Samaritans had been waiting for. The woman was amazed and went to tell others in her town about Jesus, leading many Samaritans to believe in him and be saved.
This story teaches us important lessons.
First, Jesus transcends cultural, racial, and social barriers and welcomes all people. Second, he does not judge or condemn us for our past mistakes or struggles but offers us forgiveness and transformation through his grace.
Third, our testimonies can be powerful witnesses for Christ, as we share our encounters with him and lead others to salvation.
Pope Francis describes Jesus’ thirst as “not so much for water, but for the encounter with a parched soul.”
“Jesus needed to encounter the Samaritan woman in order to open her heart: he asks for a drink so as to bring to light her own thirst,” Francis continues.
The woman, according to the Pope, is moved by this encounter and asks Jesus questions that all of us should ask: “We, too, have many questions to ask, but we don’t have the courage to ask Jesus! Lent, dear brothers and sisters, is the opportune time to look within ourselves, to understand our truest spiritual needs, and to ask the Lord’s help in prayer.
The example of the Samaritan woman invites us to exclaim: ‘Jesus, give me a drink that will quench my thirst forever’.”
Indeed, Jesus’ yearning was not primarily for water, but for a meaningful encounter with a thirsty soul.
He sought out the Samaritan woman in to awaken her heart: by requesting a drink, he brought her own thirst to light.
This encounter deeply touched the woman, prompting her to ask Jesus several profound questions that we all carry within ourselves but often neglect.
Despite harboring many questions, we often lack the courage to ask Jesus.
However, during Lent, we have a valuable opportunity to reflect on our spiritual needs, seek understanding within ourselves, and ask the Lord for guidance through prayer.
Jesus offers us the living water that can satisfy our deepest thirst.
May we also be bold in sharing our faith and leading others to experience the transformative power of Jesus Christ.
The Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus, where He asked her for a drink and engaged in a deep conversation, highlights the universal nature of Jesus’ mission to save all people.
Despite her difficult past, having had five husbands and belonging to a group that had strayed from the covenant with Yahweh, Jesus showed interest in her salvation.
Her story shows Jesus’ love and mercy extend to all people, regardless of their background or past mistakes.
Her conversion serves as an example of how anyone can receive Christ’s grace and be transformed by it.
In another of his sermons, Pope Francis said in this Gospel passage, we likewise find the impetus to “leave behind our water jar,” the symbol of everything that is seemingly important, but loses all its value before the “love of God.”
According to the Pope, “We all have one, or more than one! I ask you, and myself: “What is your interior water jar, the one that weighs you down, that distances you from God?.’ Let us set it aside a little and with our hearts; let us hear the voice of Jesus offering us another kind of water, another water that brings us close to the Lord.”
Indeed, we all need to rediscover the importance and the sense of our Christian life, initiated in Baptism and, like the Samaritan woman, to witness to our brothers.
Pope Francis proclaims we are all called to witness to the joy of the encounter with Jesus; “for every encounter with Jesus changes our life, and every encounter with Jesus also fills us with joy, the joy that comes from within. And the Lord is like this. And so we must tell of the marvelous things the Lord can do in our hearts when we have the courage to set aside our own water jar.”
The Samaritan woman’s example inspires us to cry out, “Jesus, grant me a drink that will satisfy my thirst eternally.”
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