Reflection on the Scriptures Third Sunday of Lent The grace of salvation

By 11:49 AM

 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.—

· The reason why she comes at noon is probably to avoid the other women of the town who would taunt her for her life style of having five different men.

· Jesus was thirsty physically and thirsty for her spiritual refreshment.

· Her response is typical for the time. Jews and Samaritans did not speak to one another, let alone a Jewish man and a Samaritan woman. Jews believed that the Samaritans were half breeds, having intermarried with the pagans. The Samaritans did not recognize anything other than the first five books of the Scriptures. 

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."

· Two things: the gift God wants to give you—namely new life through the Holy Spirit; the person is the Messiah who is talking to you.

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?"

· The woman is still combative and on her guard. She doesn’t trust him. 

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."

· Jesus is not defensive but gentle and persisting. He knows that there is a deeper thirst within her than just for regular water. 

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 has connected with that longing within her.  

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."

· Jesus sees she is ready to hear the message of truth, ready to be evangelized. But first, must prepare her heart further.  With Word of Knowledge, a gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus reveals to her something he would never have known about this woman. He does so to open her heart further.

· She has been living with five different men and the one she is with is no different.

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."

· The woman, without stating it, is remorseful. She is ready to turn away from her past sinfulness and be open to the new life being offered her.

· Because of the Word of Knowledge, she accepts the fact that Jesus was a prophet, speaking God’s word to her.

· She doesn’t understand why Jews and Samaritans worship differently the same God.

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."

· Even the worship of the Jews will be surpassed by the true worship of God that Jesus will inaugurate with his death and resurrection.  

· To worship God in Spirit and truth is to offer the true and everlasting worship to the Father which is Jesus’ gift of himself in the Spirit.

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."

· It was almost as if she had one last question to assure herself of what she is hearing.  She is looking for salvation through the Messiah’s coming.

Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one speaking with you."

· Jesus has never publicly acknowledge to others before. He accepted Peter’s profession that he was the Messiah, yet he never said it himself.  This is all she needed to hear. She is convicted.

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.

· Having been evangelized to the truth, the woman returns to town, without her water bucket for that is her past. She is a new person who has been set free and given a new chance. 

· She witnesses to the people of the town and invites them to see for themselves if this is not the Messiah.

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." 

· The will of the Father was the salvation of souls. This is the real hunger and thirst of Jesus, to bring people back to the truth of the Father’s love in obedience. This will be in time the life of the disciples as well after the resurrection.

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. 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."

· The faith of the people in Jesus began with the witness of the woman. But, having had contact with Jesus, hearing his message, they believed on his word now, rather than the testimony of the woman.

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