This week our first reading and our gospel are very much in sync. We heard how the Israelites were complaining to Moses, asking for water. They were complaining to Moses, ready to stone him. Jesus talked to God and Jesus heard that imitation to allow the life-giving waters to flow. And so what happened? The life-giving waters flowed and the Israelites did not stone poor Moses. The life-giving waters flow. They were able to drink on their journey.
Similarly, in the gospel, we hear about a Samaritan women. The Samaritan women is just doing her normal, everyday duty in Samaria, fetching water, grabbing water for her family for the day, maybe for a couple of days. She encounters Jesus. Now, you have to understand that the Samaritans and the Jews did not get along, they just didn’t get along. In fact, the Samaritans were a little bit north of Judea. And that the Samaritans were very much ostracized by the Jews. The Samaritans were of both Jewish and Pagan ancestry. And the Jews didn’t like the Samaritans because of their Pagan ancestry. In fact, the Jews would actually go all the way, they would cross the Jordan River, go on the other side of the Jordan River, once they pass the Samaritan territory, and come back on the other side of the Jordan River. Crazy, right? Crazy.
But here is Jesus, walking straight into their territory. Engaging this woman face-to-face and inviting her to know that Jesus is the bearer of life, everlasting life. She receives him. She receives that message. She receives that life-giving reminder that Jesus is our hope, our everlasting life.
What I wanna encourage us today is to take a look at if our hearts are hardened. Like the Jewish folks who wouldn’t travel through Samaria. Are we holding grudges? Are our hearts hardened in any way, shape, or form? This Lenten season we’re called by Jesus himself to not let our hearts be hardened, not hold those grudges, but really accept our brothers and sisters with forgiveness and generosity and love. Can we recommit ourselves to that journey in this Lenten season? Not to hold grudges that tear us up, but recommit our self to forgiveness, reconciliation, and love. Can we do that?