Samaritan Woman

This Sunday’s Gospel reading from the Gospel of John is the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. A beautiful story which can be read from many different perspectives; this is part of the richness of most Gospel stories. I once knew a theology professor who interpreted John’s Gospel as an extended stage play through out with characters move in and out leading us to the high-point of Easter. The meeting with the Samaritan woman can very easily be seen as a drama: Jesus enters with the apostles; the apostles leave; the Samaritan woman enters and talks to Jesus; the apostles return and the woman leaves; she preaches to her friends; they see Jesus and realize that He is the Messiah. This story of the Samaritan women is like the shifting of a drama with dialogue and events. In every situation Jesus listens and gives attention and respect to each person while remaining true to Himself.

Our daily life can seem like a stage play with daily events, normal and unexpected, and many people moving in and out. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by people or unexpected events and treat both as nuisances. Perhaps today Jesus is reminding us not to be distracted but to remain in the present (while not ignoring the future).  Like Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman, remaining in the present demands the openness to listen and respect other people, even those different from us (i.e. Samaritans were not orthodox Jews in the first century!). Remaining in the present also leads us to see the unexpected drama in our lives not as a nuisance but as encounters where God is calling us to deeper levels of conversion and prayer. God is with us in the drama of life if only we ask for His Presence.

Mission Doctors are present to the sick and dying who wrestle with the harsh reality of life in poorer nations. Can we help their ability to be present through prayer and donations?

God give us peace!

 

Brother John Kiesler, OFM

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