REFLECTION | Jesus and the Samaritan woman: ‘Be filled with God’s word’

Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa/InterAksyon.

Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa/InterAksyon.

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. 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.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern in deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?”

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water. …

“I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” 

Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Your people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.”

The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything.”

Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him. When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Many more began to believe in him because of his word, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”
—John 4:5-42 [or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42]

Jews and Samaritans cannot go together for they were mortal enemies because of their differences in the practice of their beliefs. Jews openly despised and looked down on the Samaritans as they do not worship the one true God.

The gospel account is a big no-no and taboo, Jesus, a Jew, is mingling and talking with a Samaritan and a woman? The meeting of Jesus and the Samaritan woman is in Sychar in Samaria, it is also known as Jacob’s well.

A  Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water for their drink and there she met Jesus sitting. The encounter took place and in their conversations, it revealed an intimate and spiritual meeting of the two important figures in the account, Jesus and the Samaritan woman.

Along their conversations, the Samaritan woman recognized Jesus as the messiah, the living water. Jesus is the water that refreshes and makes us live forever.  God is the source and fountain of all life, and Jesus preached and taught us that God and God alone who can give us the water that quenches the thirst forever.

We can liken ourselves to the Samaritan woman.  We also thirst for water that gives life, that water is God. We thirst for everything that we need, peace of mind and heart, good life and better future,  real joy and inner peace.   We thirst for silence and rest, and be freed from pains and disturbances.  But we are never fully satisfied as we are always long for something until we have God in our lives.

Listening to Jesus’ words and filled his spirit, we can also be a source of life for others and share its freshness like the living water. Like the Samaritan woman and other Samaritans in the gospel, they heard the Jesus’ message and they listened to him and believed in him. The Samaritans had recognized God in Jesus.  We shall also recognize and accept Jesus as the only one who can give us water so we will not be thirsty again.  Like the Samaritan woman, we can empty our bucket so that God’s word may fill it?

Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:

Have I become water that sustains life for others?

Do I open my heart to the message of God thru the Scriptures and other spiritual readings?

Do I seek God who can give me true refreshment and rest thru the living water?

Do I accept Jesus as the only living water who can give me life and sustain my life?

Do I allow God to rule over my life?

Almighty and Ever- living God, you are the water of life that fills us and refreshes us always.  Open our hearts and eyes to see you and receive you in our life.  May our faith be always life giving like the water that the Samaritan woman discovered and drawn from Jesus, the savior of the world.  May we also become life- giving and life-   nurturing to all those we meet and encounter. This we ask through Christ or Lord, who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray for those people whom we have promised to pray for, may their intentions and petitions be heard by God; we also remember those who are searching for meaning of life and peace of mind, let us pray for all those who working for the defense of life and peace- building especially in war stricken countries and communities.