This weekend we hear the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well. Our gospel gives us just a partial glimpse into the conversation that took place between Jesus and the woman. I would have liked to have been a little grasshopper in that dry, deserted place to hear everything that transpired between them. No doubt our gospel covers the most important parts, that of invitation, conversation, conversion, and then being sent forth.
One of the things I admire most about the Samaritan woman is that once she was touched by Jesus and experienced his “living water” she allowed herself to be transformed from being a sort of outcast in her own village to becoming a true disciple of our Lord. When she ran back to her village to tell the others about her experience, she made no excuses about who she was (her past) yet it must have been very obvious to the townspeople that something new had changed her. The end result is that they all came back with her to see and experience this Jesus, this “living water” in him.
As followers of Jesus, we are all called to be “Disciples of Christ,” and by “Disciple” I mean someone who is open to listen, to learn, to grow, to change, and then to be sent forth to invite others to experience God. Like the woman at the well, are we not all called to be evangelizers for Christ and bring others to the water? Lent would be a good time for us to be conscious of that effort and make a point to reach out. Here is a quote from Pope Francis who says similar things:
“Every Christian community is called to go out of itself and be engaged in the life of the greater society that it is part of, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature! She is not self-enclosed, but sent out to every nation and people. Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every person to God. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent….What we ourselves have received, we have received for all as well….How greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, become islands of mercy amidst the sea of indifference.” (Pope Francis I)
Words to Live by: “There are two ways to get to the top of an oak tree: Catch that first limb and climb….or, find a good healthy acorn, sit on it and wait.” (Bonnie Wimberly) Here’s to a Lent filled with conversion, outreach, and peace!