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.”


Br. Philip Zeller, FSC – Brother Phil, our DENA tech enthusiast, has served as Teacher and Vocation Director, and more over his 50 years as Brother, from Connecticut, to Rhode Island, and New York City.

A reflection by Br. Philip Zeller, FSC

Woman at the Well

We have often heard this story of the Samaritan woman, but I wonder how often we think of the woman herself. As the story unfolds, her thirst is a striking image. She takes it literally, but Jesus quickly takes advantage of it to create a teachable moment. In our own lives, how often do we think about thirst as more than a signal to get another Coke or Pepsi?

To the people of Jesus’ time and desert environment, thirst was a central image. It highlighted the central place of water in order to live day to day. In our world of technology and instant gratification, we seldom think of thirst in any sense. For instance, what about our thirst for God? If we do not have that thirst, will God even have a chance at being present to us in any real way?

Can we imagine the thirst of a person lost in the desert without a drop of it? Do we desire God as much? That desire ought to lead us to find the empty spaces that lie at the center of our lives. They are the God-sized gap at the core of our very existence. Can we live with that emptiness and desire that ultimately lead us to God?

Our students are also caught up in the world of today. They are constantly bombarded with the message that they can get everything they want. If it’s not available yet, someone will soon invent or market it. There is not much incentive for them to thirst for God. How can we awaken that yearning in our students so that they will be open to receive Jesus’ Message? Certainly the witness we give is a powerful part of the way. Fostering their own reflection on their lives is another.

Let us pray for ourselves and our students in the way of the psalmist: ‘As the deer that yearns for running streams, may we desire you, O Lord, to fill our thirst.’