Monday, July 30, 2012


Samaritan Woman meets Jesus at the Well ( by Duccio Siena  Cathedral)
The Samaritan woman came to the well alone . There was no other village woman there. But that is not the custom! The women of a village gathered at the well around the same time each day, sure, to get water - but also to gather gossip and news to share companionship. So, why did she come when she knew no other woman would be there?

Here we get thirst clue as to her moral situation: she wanted to avoid humiliation ! She was shunned by the other women of the neighbourhood because of her immoral life! But we notice here, something about Jesus. We know He is God and knows everything, as the Gospels show so often. But unlike the women of the neighbourhood, He chooses to rest at the Well because she will come there at that time. The "Hound of Heaven"is pursuing her, for the salvation of her immortal soul!

The Gospels tell us that He was tired from His long journey to the Samaritan town. He was tired in the effort to come and meet her. St.Ambrose notes that Jesus is also continually in pursuit of our souls, for our salvation.He looks beyond Samaria and that woman, and the great Saint says : "He is wearied because He has been so long seeking after thee also".That is it, as Father Nicola Avancini S.J. says : "....journeying ,that is,labouring long, and finally suffering. He sits and waits for us to come. why do we delay our approach? Why do we stand so far off, and even turn our backs?.........How often does He thirst and beg us for things which after all, only concern our own salvation, and we deny them to Him? How great is the thirst of Christ for our salvation! He loves us even more than the Devil hates us. Can we deny anything to such love, to assuage such thirst, of which, too in the end, the fruit will be all ours? "

This is a remarkable insight. God's activity throughout our lives - which He has brought into being - is wholly directed to  that which will redound to our good. Small wonder His Word directs us to pray "Our Father"! For what does a Father do, everything that will benefit his child, he will even give his life for his child! 

Sure enough , we know it all - but when you think about it, sometimes we don't realise the half of it!

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