The Woman at the Well

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Third Sunday of Lent

The Woman at the Well

By Fr. Frederick Edlefsen

As Jesus hung dying on the Cross, he cried out, “I thirst.”  He thirsted not only for water, but for us.  He thirsted with his Heart.  

When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, he said to her, “Give me a drink.”  The well was where men went to find a wife.  Jesus was indeed looking for spouse – but not in the usual sense.  He was looking to woo a sinner to his mercy.   He wanted a spouse, not wedded by a natural bond but by Grace.  Christ revealed a new kind of romance.

“My beloved speaks and says to me: arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.”  (Song of Songs 2:10-12) 

In a certain sense, the Samaritan woman was Eve.  Her marriage was wounded by disobedience to God.  But in Jesus, she once again found her long-lost Lover.  “You have had five husbands,” said Jesus, “and the one you have now is not your husband.”  The old Eve meets the new Adam.  Romance is rekindled.  Jesus removed love’s obstacle: sin.  

Jesus offered her “living water”, that is, the Holy Spirit – who is, by definition, the mutual Love of the Father and the Son in the Trinity.  The Holy Spirit is the “aroma” of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14).  “More delightful is your love than wine!  Your name spoken is a spreading perfume…Draw me!” (Songs of Songs 1:2)   

Jesus reveals the woman’s sins and purifies her. “I can see that you are a prophet,” she says.   “The hour is coming,” says Jesus, “and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed, the Father seeks such people.”  She replies, “The Messiah…will tell us everything.”  Jesus told her everything.  The woman was speechless.  “Could he possibly be the Christ?”   She fell in love again, for the first time.  

This Lent, encounter Christ in your prayers, in your good works, in your penances, and in the confession of your sins.  Make friends with the woman at the well.  






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