Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Woman at the Well: Jn 4: 7-30

It’s a strange ending to a beautiful dialog. After meeting Jesus, the woman at the well runs back into Samaria exclaiming: “Come, see the man who told me everything I ever did!” Why did it touch her so deeply that Jesus knew her faults and her sins? On the surface she perceived him to be a prophet and he revealed himself to be the Messiah, yet it was more than these bare facts that moved her. It was, I believe the tenor of his voice and the look of his eyes and his promise of life giving water. More than believing him to be the Savior, this woman found him to be a Savior who loved her personally and deeply.

Yes, Jesus told her everything she ever did. What moved her, though, was that in all of it, he loved her. Jesus loved her for who she was upon their meeting. And He had more for her! While she wanted only water that would make her thirst again, he loved her so much that he desired to give her water that would well up unto eternal life. This is the fascinating reality of God’s love. It is extravagant, beyond our expectations. When it hits us, it surprises us because we’ve done nothing to deserve it nor could we ever have imagined it.

Jesus is able to pierce through the crusty exterior of her heart into its fleshy center where his light becomes the source of the living waters which flow clearly and warmly through the soul. In their dialog at the well, each heart was laid open to the other. Again, I think what surprised the woman wasn’t just that Jesus knew all about her, but that knowing it, he loved her deeply and desired everything beautiful for her—the most beautiful thing, of course, being the happiness of her heart: her salvation.

+ Br. Joseph Michael Fino, CFR

Bronx, NY


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