Thursday, March 1, 2018
by Sister Mary Kabat
For when he asked the Samaritan woman for water to drink,
he had already created the gift of faith within her.
(excerpt from Preface: The Samaritan Woman)
Have you been caught in or been the witness of a “he said, she said?” It can end in a rift in a relationship. In Sunday’s Gospel from John (proclaimed in parishes with candidates and catechumens preparing to be initiated into the Catholic Church), Jesus’ simple request, “Give me a drink,” leads to a lengthy back and forth between Jesus and the unnamed Samaritan woman. It begins a volley of questions and theological and historical answers which must have brought Jesus a smile and raised the ire of the woman who showed such spunk, knowledge and faith.
Then came the request that brought the debate to a halt: “Go call your husband.” This required an answer of personal truth. This was a line in the sand that must be crossed for the encounter to deepen. The woman must have taken a deep breath and then revealed the truth of her life to Jesus, “I do not have a husband.” Then, when she references the Messiah, Jesus did some truth telling of his own: “I am he, the one speaking to you.”
The woman sets down her water jar – how this encounter began – and runs to not only proclaim the good news of Jesus but to bring the people of her town to Jesus and Jesus to her town for a two-day stay. How bewildered the disciples were! How filled with faith the townspeople were for having come to know the “savior of the world.”
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