by Sister Renee Delvaux
How scandalous, according to Jewish standards, is Jesus' behavior in today's Gospel as He meets the Samaritan woman at the well! He totally disregards the Jewish law. He dares to have a conversation with a woman, a Samaritan, and one married to five men. She is considered an outcast.
What becomes evident is the universality of Jesus' compassion, love and open invitation to all to be part of the Kingdom. He accepts without judgment this woman who is a questionable member (a sinner) of a subordinate group (women) of a despised people (Samaritans). She is the one whom Jesus approaches and to whom He reveals Himself as Messiah. Without rebuke He offers the woman "living water," and she who has been thirsting for meaning in her life, accepts the "living water" in gratitude and faith. She then proclaims the good news of Jesus to the townspeople and they go to meet Jesus. What a profound moment -- the word of salvation takes root in the hearts of the despised and marginalized.
The message: Jesus is always reaching out to us, offering "life-giving water" as He did to the Samaritan woman, even as we are also sinners. He alone can satisfy our thirst.
The question: How do we treat those we consider "lowly and despised," the "sinners" in our lives?
Let us pray: Lord, give us "living water" to nourish our thirst for truth and meaning. Fill us with Your love, compassion, and acceptance of all.
I love this reflection piece! It is sad that the same issues of "otherness" still exist in modern times, but so important to remember that Jesus wants us to love everyone regardless of their situation in life.
Thank you for the prayerful reflection, Sister Renee.