Home » Opinion » Jesus and the Samaritan woman

Jesus and the Samaritan woman


reflections reff rff rft

Gospel • Jn 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42


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. 9The 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.” 11The 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. …

“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 who is speaking with you.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him. 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 Samaritan woman in the Gospel often gets bad press. She is living with a man who is not her husband. However, Jesus sees the good in her and reaches out to her. Jesus, a Jewish man, talks in public to a woman who is a “foreigner” and belongs to “another religion.” However, she is by no means hardened in heart; she listens to Jesus’ words, receives them with joy, gives him a drink, and even invites her town-mates to come and listen to Jesus.

This beautiful story from John’s Gospel invites a variety of responses. Can we see the good in other people, even those who have been condemned by society? Are we willing to engage them in conversation and maybe even ask them to help us? Do we give people “second chances” when they have made mistakes in life? Is our heart “compassionate” like that of Jesus? Do we accept that Jesus, and Jesus alone, can satisfy the thirst in our heart and fill the void in our life? We pray: “Lord Jesus, our hearts were made for you, and they will not rest until they rest in you.”

* * *

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.