Reflection on the Third Sunday of Lent

 
Third Sunday of Lent - 15 March 2020: The Samaritan Woman at the Well
(John 4:5-42)
 
So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
 
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
 
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans).
 
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
 
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
 
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
 
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
 
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
 
The conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is like the passing of two ships in the night – they are close, but oblivious to each other. Of course, in this case, Jesus is not oblivious to the woman, but she cannot sense his reaching out to her.
o He offers living water, but she talks of running water (the same word in the original). 
o He offers the quenching of a spiritual thirst, but she talks of a physical thirst.
o He tells her to call her husband, but she admits she has no husband.
 
Even when Jesus speaks to us, we do not always understand what he means. We have to think about it and allow him to explain.
 
 

         

 
 
 
Photo is "The Water of Life Discourse between Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well" by Angelika Kauffmann, 17/18th Century