Third Sunday of Lent - St. Boniface Catholic Church - Evansville, IL
 
Let’s stay with the woman at the well a bit longer and reflect on her experience.

I went about my daily routine of getting water from the well around noon when Jesus came.  It seems like a small detail to mention the time of the event, but it is an important detail.  Respectable women went to the well early in the morning or late in the day when the temperatures were cooler.  I could not go during those times because I was an outcast.  The other women had threatened me, warning me to stay far from their husbands. 

Then a strange man came up to me and began speaking with me.  First, this man was a Jew so he should not speak to me a Samaritan.  Secondly, a rabbi or a holy man would never speak with a woman he did not know.  He had no business speaking with me but he did so.  I was surprised but soon his words began to puzzle me.  He began telling me about this water that he gives.  I wanted to have this water so I did not have to return to the well.  Jesus then told me to get my husband.  In the midst of our conversation I forgot who I was.  What could I say?  I did not want to lie but I could not tell the truth.  No one would accept me if I was honest.  So I told him that I do not have a husband.  Little did I know that he already knew I was married five times and was now living with another man.

I was scared so I asked him where I could legitimately pray.  Since I was a Samaritan I prayed where Jews used to pray before the temple was constructed in Jerusalem.  Jesus assured me that we must worship in spirit and truth.  Little did I know that I was speaking to the Messiah.  When he revealed to me who he was, I ran off into town and began telling other people what I witnessed.  I was an outcast but now I was a messenger of the greatest news in town.  The people were skeptical and initially only a few people went out to see Jesus.  Word began to spread and more and more people came to encounter Jesus.  Many believed in Jesus and our lives were never the same again.  This encounter with Jesus was an existential moment that changed how I understood my life.
At this Eucharist we have an encounter with Jesus Christ who gives us the food and drink of eternal life.  May this sacrament strengthen us so that God may transform us as he transformed this sinful woman.


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