Sunday Gospel Reflection
3rd Sunday of Lent
John 4:5-42 | March 12, 2023
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
“In Samaria he came to a town named Sychar, which was not far from the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by the trip, sat down by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw some water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink of water.’ The woman answered, ‘You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan. So how can you ask me for a drink?’
…Jesus answered, ‘if you only knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water.’
…Many more believed because of his message, and they told the woman, ‘We believe now, not because of what you said, but because we ourselves have heard him, and we know that he really is the Saviour of the world.’” – John 5-10, 41-42
I was first introduced to a “samaritan” in Luke’s Gospel about the “Parable of the Good Samaritan”. Little did I know that I would be encountering a Samaritan again—this time a woman in this Sunday’s Gospel.
Two stories of love and compassion, the “Parable of the Good Samaritan” talks about a Samaritan who helps a Jew—robbed, beaten, and left half-dead by the roadside. And, in today’s Gospel, there is this story about a Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus and helped him. It was an encounter as Jesus was passing through Samaria, the land of the Samaritans, on his way back to Galilee. Tired out by the trip, Jesus sat by Jacob’s well where he met the woman who came to draw some water and said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” The woman answered, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan—so how can you ask me for a drink?”
As a backgrounder, the Jews and the Samaritans were not friends. The Jews called them “half-breeds”, despised them, and avoided passing through Samaria. But the Samaritans were not Gentiles (the non-believers) because they believed in worship and faith, though not in the way of the Jews.
The Gospel tells us that the Samaritan woman was wary about giving water to Jesus since “Jews do not use the same cups and bowls that Samaritans use”. But I want to believe that Samaritans are innately good and the woman allowed the better of her to listen to Jesus.
A beautiful story of a Samaritan and a Jew, but he was no ordinary Jew! This was Jesus, and the woman listened to Him and believed He was the Messiah!
Tayo, naniniwala ba tayo na si Hesus ang ang ating kaligtasan? O hanggang salita lang ba tayo? Mga ‘Marites’ ba tayo? O lulong sa sugal, sa e-games, sa droga? Sa kayabangan at sa pagnanakaw? Saan tayo ngayon? Pagnilayan natin ito.
Ano ba ang itinuturo sa atin ng ebanghelyo? Meron bang Samaritano, ‘the woman at the well’, sa panahon ngayon? Ano ang kinakatawan nila sa lipunang ginagalawan natin? Mayaman ba sila o mahirap? Nakapag-aral ba o hindi? Minamaliit ba ng lipunan o minamahal?
Let’s pause and think. Remember that the woman was an outcast and was looked down upon by her own people as immoral because, although unmarried, lived with several men. And Jesus knew this.
The Gospel teaches us that God’s love is inclusive—it does not matter whether you are an outcast, a rebel, a prostitute, a Catholic, a Muslim, a priest, or a politician. The Gospel is the Good News that God embraces everybody. No one is left out or left behind because we are His beloved. The woman at the well is a classic example of an all-forgiving Father tending to his flock, looking for the lost and rejoicing with mercy as the woman listened to our Savior, Jesus Christ. It was truly a grace-filled moment for the woman at the well. She was truly blessed to have encountered the Lord! The Lord said, “If you only knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water.”
If we only listen to that mystical voice offering eternal salvation. This Lenten season is a very apt moment to reflect on Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. Let’s follow Christ with our own crosses and resurrect with Him in His heavenly Kingdom. Sama-sama tayong pumunta sa Kalbaryo ni Hesus ngayon Lent: mag-Visita Iglesia, mag-daan ng Krug, mag-fasting, mag-abstain sa masasarap na pagkain at materyal na bagay, at mag kawanggawa.
The Bible is a lot of food for thought: from the Old Testament about creation and sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, to the New Testament about Jesus, his disciples, and his works. It is a big challenge to read and reread the Bible and the life of Jesus.
And Jesus, on so many instances, talked to us in parables so we may understand what it means to be saved from eternal damnation. All we must do is listen to his Word and follow with faith and fervor. Salvation is for us who truly live in faith and spirit—adoring and worshipping our Christ Jesus. Salvation is for us who confess our sins, repent, and seek for forgiveness. Salvation is for us who believe that Jesus is the Messiah.
Many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus because the woman at the well had said, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them, and Jesus stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of his message, and they told the woman, “We believe now, not because of what you said, but because we ourselves have heard him, and we know that he really is the Saviour of the world.”
Simply put, we can sum up the Gospel with the Almighty’s greatest commandments: love God above all and love your neighbor as yourself.
Let us witness to Jesus’ greatness so that we may lead others to Him. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions”. Let us seek His kingdom not tomorrow but today. God bless us all!
A blessed 3rd Sunday of Lent.
Artwork: Christ and the Woman of Samaria by Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari (1654-1727)