Today’s readings include the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. In reading Bishop Robert Barron’s Lenten reflection on the Gospel I was moved by the insights:
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman. Throughout the Old Testament, wells are trysting places. Abraham’s servant found a wife for Isaac by a well; Jacob met his wife, Rachel, by a well.
Therefore, when St. John tells us that Jesus encountered a woman at Jacob’s well, we should expect that something like marriage is in the offing. The Samaritan woman stands, says St. Augustine, for the Church, which is the Bride of Jesus.
The Samaritan woman tells Jesus that she is unmarried. Jesus responds with devastating clarity: “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’ For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband.” Think of the five husbands as five errant paths that the woman has taken. She has “married” herself to wealth, pleasure, honor, power, material things, etc. Or think of them as five ideologies or gurus that she has followed, hoping to find joy.
The point of the story is that Jesus is proposing marriage to the woman, to his Bride the Church. Only in him will the human race find happiness, peace, and the “spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Reflect: What “errant paths” have you taken or “ideologies or gurus” have you followed in the past? What path are you on now? Why?
– Bishop Robert Barron Lenten Reflection Email
I’m moved by the newness of scriptural passages that I’ve read for 35 years. Water from the rock is what we need.
Moving is hard work. The thought of moving and beginning again is a pleasant one, wherein one sees the potential at the end. Or the potential potential. In the middle there is a mess, a really big one. I’d show you but it’s kinda ugly. Boxes everywhere, little bits of paper shreds from paper long needing to go, and fabric scraps. If you know me as a quilter I’m not a fan of scraps. My friend Debby uses every single inch of fabric scrap, having them organized into the various bits and pieces for making random Cutie quilts. Love that about her. In another small box various and sundry selvages waiting for the opportunity to wend their way to Tracy who clearly needs them. I could go into exquisite detail about what is where, but no. I can tell you that part of the moving is a letting go of the things. Just prior to sitting down to write I noticed the tier structure from our wedding cake sitting on top of the keyboard and I’m thinking it’s time to let them go. Moving on and moving out.
I found a few more journals while moving stuff around. Seventeen years ago a discussion took place regarding a move. It didn’t happen then. It wasn’t the right time, or place. In reflecting on it now I see that it might have done more harm than good. While not spending an enormous time reading journal entries a few have garnered my attention serving as reminders of God’s movement, God’s grace, and mercy. That our cooperation with God’s Holy Will is essential, and that we have control over our own actions, thoughts, prayer time and not that of others. While God’s Will is Holy is perfect our own participation in that will is imperfect. I’m imperfect.
You are dust, and to dust you shall return
Last night I wrote a letter to the Blessed is She group in Westchester that I help coordinate letting the members know that due to the current guidelines here in the Archdiocese we must cancel our next meeting scheduled for Saturday March 21. We are living Lent is a new-to-us way, remembering that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. While this wasn’t easy I filled the letter with reminders of what we CAN do right now:
Make an Act of Spiritual Communion
Call our elderly neighbors and talk to them, shop for them
Check in on friends who are immuno-compromised , young or old, talk to them, and see about shopping for them.
Write letters to friends, I was reminded yesterday that I did this frequently as a young adult. Email changed all that however I’m rethinking this.
Act Charitably when purchasing, leave something for the next person.
Pray more novenas. This 28 year veteran Catholic is just starting to pray novenas, loving the rhythm and the call to think of others.
Go to Confession, behind the screen. Be ready for your death, we will return to dust and we know not the day, means, or hour.
Go to the local parish and pray for an hour.
Pray an intentional Rosary, take some time to meditate on the mystery then remember all the people and situations in our lives.
Pray for our Bishops and Priests. Always. We need to help them grow in holiness, this is as much our responsibility as it is theirs. Be respectful of their decisions, we might not like them however it’s essential for everyone that we respect them.
Lent is a penitential time. I can assure you that the giving up for this Lent is not something I planned or would have ever chosen. I can only live in it, sit with it, ask God for the grace to move through it.