Categories: HomiliesPublished On: March 12th, 2023Tags: , 672 words20.4 min read

Here are links to our readings for the day:

The Woman At The Well

The woman at the well is an amazing story. She meets Jesus and after a short conversation realizes that Jesus is the Messiah. The details of the story do not tell us how that happened so quickly. Instead, the story tells us of the things that would make it impossible for the woman to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

First, Jesus is a Jew, and she is a Samaritan. These two cultures have an intense hatred for each other.  Second, Jesus is a man and in their culture a man would never talk to a woman in public. Third, her reputation is not good. She has had five husbands and lives with another man now. All of these issues must be addressed before she can believe.

Jesus speaks of living water, where you will not thirst again. She does not understand that Jesus is speaking of baptism. Not that you drink the water but that you are washed clean and given new life. She desires living water. This same living water will cleanse her of her sins. She is forgiven for the sins of the flesh. Jesus shows her mercy and love. And through this life-giving water she recognizes Jesus as the Messiah.

One amazing aspect of the story is that now the woman runs to her village to tell everyone about Jesus, that He is the One, He is the Messiah. I wonder, why did they believe her? She has a terrible reputation; she is not liked and is an outcast. She has to come to the well in the heat of the day, not with the other women.

Everyone in the community knows her reputation. Why this time do they listen to her? Why do they come out to see Jesus just because she said he is the Messiah. Why do they believe her?

I think of other Bible stories. God told Jonah to go to the Ninevites and proclaim they will all be destroyed if they did not turn away from sin. The Ninevites are not Jewish, they do not know God, they do not know Jonah, why are they listening to him. This is something to think about. What makes the people believe what Jonah and the woman at the well are saying?

I think of Jesus’ disciples. Peter was with Jesus for two years but did not believe Jesus when He said He had to suffer and die. The story of Thomas when he did not believe that Jesus had appeared to the disciples after the resurrection. Why did Jesus have to come back just for Thomas? Thomas was with Jesus for three years. Why was it difficult for Peter and Thomas to believe that Jesus is the Messiah?

It appears that the people who know Jesus best did not recognize Him as the Messiah. The people who know very little about Jesus accept him immediately as the Messiah. It is fascinating to me how God uses the small and insignificant people to share the Gospel message. They become the best evangelizers. And what is it that makes these people so effective? They are just ordinary sinners. But having met the Messiah they are something much more than themselves.

What about you? What do you believe? Are you like Jonah and the woman at the well and believe and trust in Jesus? Or are you like the disciples, always questioning, wondering, wanting more from Jesus to prove He is the Messiah?

Another thought to consider. When you tell other people about Jesus are they excited and believe immediately? Do they quickly go about evangelizing other people?  If you are not excited about knowing Jesus, how will you ever share Jesus with others? This week of Lent, consider what is preventing you from knowing Jesus.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen