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. The 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.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
My hometown of Cincinnati is located on the Ohio River. The river brings us commerce, recreation, and drinking water. It also brings destructive floods. Water is a powerful sign; that's why it's used in Baptism, symbolizing our entry into the life and death of Jesus.
Our Lenten readings today relate to Baptism. We hear a story from Exodus, where the people complain because they’ve run out of water. God, through Moses, responds with a life-giving stream of water. From John's Gospel we have the drama of Jesus and the woman at the well. The early Church used this story in its Lenten liturgy.
The woman at the well represents a believer who reluctantly comes to faith. She needs Jesus, his insights into her life, and his promise of "living water," to slowly win her over. But isn't that the way it is for most of us? We need time to be convinced; we face contradictions and faulty choices in our lives. Nevertheless we thirst for what God offers us. And in the end, when we've tasted new life in Christ, we just have to tell others about it. Believers become apostles.
Our Lenten journey may find us thirsty for living water. Let's listen closely to the Lord's invitation.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In the first reading (Ex 17:3-7), why were the people angry with Moses?
What did Moses do?
What did God do to satisfy the need for water?
• Paul tells readers, in this week's second reading (Rom 5:1-2, 5-8) that he boasts in hope of the glory of God. What difference does hope make in Paul’s life and in our lives today?
Paul says that “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Does that make any difference to you?
• Jesus meets the woman at the well, in this week's Gospel (Jn 4:5-42). He is tired and thirsty, so he asks the woman for a drink. Why was this woman completely surprised by his request?
Jesus offers to give her a drink, yet he does not have a bucket to pull up water from the well. What was Jesus offering to her?
Jesus tells her to call her husband and come back. When she says she does not have a husband, Jesus opens her eyes about his identity. When she tells people about Jesus they come out to the well. Did the people from the Samaritan village come to believe in Jesus?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Water is the essential for life and we all know how healthy water is for us to drink. For one day, try to drink the recommended amount of water for your age.
• Jesus knew all about the woman at the well. See how well your family knows each other. Have everyone make a quiz about him or herself containing questions such as favorite color or food, and see how your family does.