Who Is The Samaritan Woman?

2023년 3월 12일

Who Is The Samaritan Woman?

< Third Sunday of Lent >

 She was a Samaritan, a distant cousin of the Jews, who disliked Samaritans for not being kosher. Samaritans stayed behind when the Jews were carried off into exile in Babylon. Absent Temple or holy mountain, the Samaritans developed their own religion. This particular woman also had a bad reputation. She had been married no less than five times. Now she was living with a man who was not her husband. The woman was tired of people gossiping about her, so instead of going to the well early in the morning with the other women, she chose to go out alone at noon the hottest part of the day. Better to endure the blazing sun than put up with all the wagging tongues and disapproving eyes. Driven by thirst she went again to draw water but this time there she saw a man there. A Jew no less.

To her surprise he had the temerity to talk to her and ask her for water. What did he really want? She wondered. Then he offered to give her a drink, even though he had no bucket with which to draw water from the well. Very suspicious. But not just any water. Living water! Like from an artesian well that sprang up naturally from the ground all by itself. Now she was interested. If she could have that living water, she’d never have to come to this well again nor suffer the disapproving stares of her neighbors. Then out of the blue, he asks her to go call her husband. “I don’t have one,” she cleverly lied and told the truth at the same time. “You’re right!” the Jewish man chuckled. “You’ve had five husbands and the man you have now is not your husband.” Busted, she changed the subject, asking where the right place was to worship God, Jerusalem or Mt. Gerizim? To her surprise, Jesus reveals to her a secret he never told anyone else: he was the Messiah. She was so excited she left her jar. Those five husbands represented the different gods the Samaritans worshipped over the centuries, looking for the meaning of life. The woman’s deepest thirst had finally been quenched. Of course the disciples were scandalized that Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman. They were clueless, as usual. Jesus alone can quench that thirst. Who is the Samaritan woman? Each of us! Where are we looking for fulfillment, happiness and the meaning of life? What false gods do we secretly worship? Jesus alone accepts us as we are. He knows our sins and our thirst. He offers himself to fulfill our deepest longing.