Third Sunday of Lent
Gospel – John 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink.”
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water.

“I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her,
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him.
When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
“We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

Reflection on Sunday Gospel

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God…

In today’s Gospel, Jesus approaches the well in Samaria where he encounters a woman drawing water at the height of the day, around noon. It can be assumed that there are reasons this woman is coming to the well in the heat of the day and not in the morning when most others would be drawing water in order to avoid the extreme heat of the afternoon sun. She is there at the well in the middle of the day because she is most likely not welcome in the morning, or perhaps she herself wishes to avoid the crowds. As Jesus engages her in conversation, we quickly realize that she is a woman with a reputation. Nevertheless, Jesus asks her for a drink of water, something that would cause great scandal among the Jewish community.

If we pause for a moment and put ourselves into the woman’s position, perhaps we can find some commonality.  Have I ever been the one not welcome, an outcast from the rest of the group? Have I ever intentionally excluded myself from something because I don’t feel worthy or perhaps I want to avoid the attention of others? We all have been there at one time or another.  Yet, just as Jesus approached the woman, Jesus approaches each one of us today despite our sense of being worthy or not. In a way, Jesus is inviting us into relationship with him and our brothers and sisters.

During this Lenten season we are called to re-focus our relationship with God. We are called to offer God true worship in “Spirit and truth.”  Let us not be weighed down by what separates us from God, rather find common ground where it is just us and God. Together at the well, we can have the Lord touch our hearts and our souls, peering into their depths and drawing from them life-giving water.

Click here to view a YouTube video that re-imagines today’s gospel.

St. John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for Us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever!

Mr. Ken Goedeke, Jr.
Calvert Hall College – Religion Faculty