The Gospel for this Sunday is John 4:5-42
1. A word of introduction
Jesus crosses boundaries to meet another person. Even in ambiguous situations, he has the courage to go beyond. He does so out of love. The meeting with the Samaritan woman is just one example of this.
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.” […]
The Samaritan woman said to him,
“How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
Why should Jesus not talk to a Samaritan woman? First, in Jewish tradition, a man should not meet alone with a woman who is not his wife, especially in an isolated place. Second, the relationship between Jews and Samaritans, as commented on in the Gospel, was very unfriendly. Third, the Samaritan woman avoided other people, which is why she came to the spring at six o’clock, which was noon. No one would come to the well at the hottest time of the day. The Samaritan woman was ashamed of her disordered life situation.
Jesus wanted to meet her. He came to the spring at noon to meet a person who was marginalized by her community and who isolated herself. For Jesus, every person matters.
The woman left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people,
“Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?”
They went out of the town and came to him.
An encounter with Jesus changed everything in the life of a Samaritan woman. Jesus transformed her. She was no longer ashamed of herself but bore witness to Jesus. He touched on the difficult issues in her life, not to oppress her. Jesus’ touching of our wounds brings salvation and healing. The Samaritan woman left the jug and ran to tell others about Jesus joyfully.
Jesus goes beyond his environment to seek out a person. He is not hindered by social prejudices and human judgments, nor by the disordered life of the Samaritan woman.
And how do I talk to people outside my circle? Do I have the courage to bring the good news of the Gospel even to people who are unfriendly to me?