Third Sunday of Lent 2023


  Without Being Destructive  

In the warm midday silence, a solitary woman slips toward the town well, a site depicted in the Bible as a place for meeting and socializing with others. But at this point in the life of the Samaritan woman, the local well is simply a place to fill her water pitcher at a time when she will not be seen by anyone else.

She prefers to go to the well alone, hoping not to meet anyone. But once there, she finds the Unexpected, right at the heart of her loneliness and confusion, because he is always to be found at the core of what is going on in our life. And the Unexpected has the appearance of a man tired and alone, not someone to be feared. Besides, his eyes are kind. When he speaks, it is in the form of a request, voiced in words sweet as honey but that cause her to tremble. “Give me a drink,” the stranger asks her.

The Samaritan woman does not expect his entreaty but we, like her, understand that here and now, this is precisely the plea we have been waiting for, and we allow his gentle words to caress every part of us, enabling us to recognize in every corner of our lives that it is still possible for us to offer refreshment to someone.

The stranger at the well of our life does not tally our mistakes or the water we have wasted in the past. He doesn’t add up how many people may or may not have received a drink from us. That weary and thirsty man simply wants us to realize that we are still capable of bringing refreshment to the lives of others.

Can I find any water here? Jesus asks us. Can I enter your life? He is a gentle, tender lover, a trustworthy friend.

Fr. Alessandro Deho'