Last week was International Women’s Week, and I have been thinking about the wonderful women in my life; my daughters and friends, and especially the women who have gone before me; my mother, grandmother, aunts, nuns and mentors. They have led the way for me and throughout my life, led me to form the faith I presently have.
As I read the Gospel reading for this weekend, ‘the Samaritan Woman at the Well,’ I found myself wondering whose lives she had touched. The Gospel writer makes a point of telling us, not only is she NOT a Jew, she is a Samaritan woman and no self-respecting Jew, especially a Jewish man, would speak to her. From what we hear, it seems this woman may have been living on the edge of society, dependent on the five men she lived with throughout her life. Yet Jesus engages her in conversation, seeing something of a disciple in her. He steps outside of societal bounds and draws their conversation about water to the point of helping her see that the water he speaks of is not earthly sustenance, but that which quenches the thirst of the soul for the ‘living God.’ After a few go rounds, first it dawns on her that he is some kind of prophet and gradually/finally (Jesus often did this ‘leading to fuller understanding’ with his disciples) states that she believes the Messiah/Christ is coming and “will tell us everything.” It is then Jesus tells her, point blank, that HE is that one.
I can’t imagine when it finally dawned on her, how shocked and excited she must have been. Have you ever experienced a feeling of sheer awe when you have discovered a truth that was right before your eyes all the time? She then became a disciple to her own people, the Samaritans, and brought many of them to believe in Christ for themselves, because of her words of testimony.
This week, take some time in prayer to recall those people, women or men, who have led you to Jesus Christ and thank them.
Coord. of Pastoral Care