One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

March 19, 2006

For the Scrutiny of the Catechumens on the Third Sunday of Lent

John 4:5-42

The Samaritan woman who finds Jesus at Jacob’s well is a sinner.
Without hearing a word of confession from her mouth, Jesus already knows her whole story.
First he makes the claim that if she drinks the water he will give she will never again thirst, for it will become a fountain inside her, leaping up to provide eternal life.
Then she begins to expose her vulnerability.

Give me this water, sir,
so that I won’t ever again be VULNERABLE to thirst,
and have to continue to DEPEND on hauling water up from this well.

Now Jesus goes in for the kill.
He tells her, “Go, call your husband, and then come back here.”
The woman answers, “I have no husband.”
Now Jesus exposes her whole life of sin.

You do well to say you have no husband.
You’ve had five,
and the man you are living with now is not your husband.

Once the woman is exposed as a sinner, she does not raise her defenses.
Instead, she further exposes her vulnerability through an honest admission that Jesus knows the truth.
Then we see the well of eternal life already beginning to rise up in her faith.
First she calls Jesus a prophet, a man of God.
Then she calls him the Messiah.
Next she tells the people of her town.
Finally, they themselves confess that Jesus is “Savior of the world.”
Through penance we do not wait for Jesus to wave our dirty laundry in the air.
Through penance in attitude, word or deed, we expose ourselves to him, and freely ask for living water.

That God Be Glorified in All


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