Third Sunday of Lent 2011 Gospel and Reflections; The Woman at The Well

Mass readings and various reflections for today are here.

                                                                 Gospel: John 4 : 5 - 42

                                                                                        Image of Sychar from here 

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.”

Jesus said to her,
“Go call your husband and come back.”

The woman answered and said to him,
“I do not have a husband.”
Jesus answered her,
“You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
For you have had five husbands,
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true.”

The woman said to him,
“Sir, 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 speaking with you.”

At that moment his disciples returned,
and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,
but still no one said, “What are you looking for?”
or “Why are you talking with her?”

The woman left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people,
“Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?”

They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”
But he said to them,
“I have food to eat of which you do not know.”

So the disciples said to one another,
“Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.

Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment
and gathering crops for eternal life,
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.

For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;
others have done the work,
and you are sharing the fruits of their work.” 

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
because of the word of the woman who testified,
“He told me everything I have done.”

When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.

This is a wonderful Gospel song by the South African singer Hlengiwe Mhlaba


I can't find all the lyrics but the first verse is below:

Let your living waters flow over my soul
Let your Holy Spirit, come and take all the control
In every situation that has troubled my mind
All my cares and burdens unto you I unroll


I am parched and thirsty for reassurance, for guidance, for compassion, for justice.
I am thirsty for peace and renewal.
I am thirsty for Living Water; my dry and arid soul aches for the fulfillment of Christ's words through the actions of our lives.

Sometimes I feel the well is dry and empty and long for that personal encounter in my prayers, for that moment when I might hear the voice of Christ speaking directly to me that says "I understand everything about you," a voice that says "I know everything you have ever done," a voice that says when I question whether I am speaking into the chasms and the wilderness of my own illusions and doubt : " I am He, the one speaking with you." 

                                               The stained glass window inside St. Virgil Church, Morris Plains, NJ.

This Lent I long for these words of Jesus to come true in all our lives:

"The water I shall give will become in you
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

When Jesus was in the final throes of his death on the cross he said " I thirst " and  He still must long for us to fulfill his work here on earth.

Nice reflection from here

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