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Finding Oneself in Jesus: The Samaritan Woman - Lent 2017

“Come for water, all who are thirsty, though you have no money, come, buy wine and milk, not for money, not for a price. Why spend your money on what is not food, your earnings on what fails to satisfy?”(Isaiah 55:1-2) The seeker is always one who hungers and thirsts for depth and meaning. But just when we think we have discovered the meaning of life we often find that they have changed its definition. What we have spent our money on, fails to satisfy. To varying degrees and in diverse ways we are all seekers; the invitation is extended to all, without any preconditions required except that one must hunger and thirst in sincerity of heart…. …like the Woman at the well in Samaria. Sincerity of heart brings with it an inner restlessness, often causing one to stumble. To most who knew her, she was far from perfect having had five husbands and presently living with one who was not her own. There was a certain hardness of heart that made her cynical of every rule, thinking that throwing caution to the winds would bring her inner freedom. In moments of quiet and solitude however, beyond the pain and discomfort she experienced there was contact with the stream of LIFE. How she wished she could constantly touch it drink from its waters and be satisfied. Approaching the village well one evening unknown to her and outside of her self-consciousness she was experiencing the ‘sacramental reality’ that was about to unfold. The sign was about to embody the reality. Here was this stranger at the well asking her for a drink. It was a strange request in more ways than one. Not only was he a Jew asking a Samaritan for a drink, but as the conversation unfolded it was he who talked of providing water, without a bucket of his own with which to draw it out. Lapsing back into self-consciousness, confronted with her own emptiness, she tried desperately to ease the discomfort by wandering off into a discussion.


Her various forays would only boomerang in a sort of home-coming steadily bringing her to her centre face to face with what she possessed all along. She must let the empty bucket descend into the treasure hidden in the depths of her subconscious so that she could draw out its living water and experience “a satisfaction far greater than those who have an abundance of corn and new wine.” (Psalm 4:11)


The key to coming into contact with the spring of living water within us is learning to move from self-consciousness to SELF-Awareness. Distractions that take us away from the centre present themselves in many forms. They range from a pre-occupation of our “sinful” past at one end of the spectrum to idle theological discussions at the other. The Woman at the well had swayed like a pendulum from one extreme to the other bypassing the centre each time until Jesus brought it to stillness at the centre. He had revealed her to herself as she truly is. At that moment time stood still. Her past was of no consequence; the future, a Cloud of Unknowing. All that remained was the present. Jesus calls each one of us to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth His Spirit within us reveals to us the truth of who we really are created in the image and likeness of God “in whom we live, move and have our very being .” (Acts 17:28) “Contemplation is the simple enjoyment of this truth.” (St.Thomas Aquinas)


 Chirstopher Mendonca

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