Samaritan woman experiences God's love and invites her townspeople to do the same
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
Sunday, March 12, as the Church celebrates the third Sunday of Lent, our religious Community also celebrates our Founders’ Day. Two Sisters arrived in Bay Settlement on Feb. 2, 1868, and were joined by two women from the parish. Together with the pastor, Father Edward Daems, OSC, they founded our Community and opened Holy Cross School in Bay Settlement on Feb. 12. Each year on the Sunday closest to March 14, we Sisters commemorate the day our original statutes were approved by the Bishop of Green Bay in 1889.
In the Gospel account for today, there was another woman who was invited by God to leave her comfort zone and, after a little help, to accept the call to minister to others.
As the story opens, Jesus was alone near a well in Sychar because his disciples had gone into town. A Samaritan woman approached the well to draw water, and Jesus asked her for a drink. This was an unusual occurrence since a man would not converse with a single woman he didn’t know -- and a Jewish person would never approach a Samaritan. But Jesus wasn’t known for following social conventions.
As the situation developed, Jesus and the woman moved into a theological conversation which eventually became very personal – about her life and multiple failed relationships and an offer of something more.
Think about that invitation Jesus offered the woman:
He began by asking her to minister to him by providing water – even though she was a stranger, a Samaritan, and a woman with a checkered past. Then he offered her living water – an opportunity for faith. What began with a request for water resulted in her return to her village (where she was not well-accepted) and enabled her to announced the presence of the Jewish Messiah and lead others to faith. God often seems to choose fragile and seemingly inadequate people for ministry.
This week God will invite us to recognize an opportunity in some ordinary event of life (like a chance encounter with someone) and to be a source of good news. All we need are open eyes, a willing spirit, and trust that God can and does use us.