Today we hear from the gospel of John 4:5 – 42. This is actually the reading from Year A instead of Year C. We are using Year A because the readings align more readily to the journey our Elect and Catechumens are on as they progress toward full communion with us at the Easter Vigil. The church allows these readings to be used for this and the next two Sundays.
The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is worth the time we spend reading it at leisure. It is packed full of messages for all of us. The Samaritans and the Jews were at odds for many years. Samaritans were a group of Jewish people who had intermarried with pagan oppressors. As the Samaritans were not purely Jewish, they were no longer allowed to worship at Temple and were considered outcasts by the Jewish leadership. Interestingly, the Samaritans were actually stricter about their adherence to the Ten Commandments and the laws prescribed in the Pentateuch or first five books of the Old Testament.
Jesus meeting with the woman makes himself spiritually unclean and open to scandal. Jews simply do not have conversations with Samaritans. This does not stop Jesus from evangelizing the woman. After a rocky start, the woman sees that this man is special and goes back to her people about the man she met at the well who asked for a drink of water. Many of her relatives and friends became Christians due to that encounter. Jesus, along with this very special woman, evangelized those who were outcasts
I guess the message for us is that we just never know how far the ripples go when we throw a penny into a pond. We never know what can happen when we tell the world about Jesus.
Peace and All Good!