The Woman at the Well: A reflection by Sr Kym Harris osb

The image is an early fresco from the catacombs

What a woman – so much life, so much vivacity. She has a personal magnetism and vivacity I’ll never have. Her setbacks hadn’t set her back. When Jesus spoke to her, she didn’t retire, shy and confused that a man had broken such a social barrier. No, she stepped right up in the conversation and was prepared to engage this man in dialogue…and didn’t Jesus like it! Here was a person ready to engage with what he had to say and courageous enough to face her personal failure. This is the person to whom he first openly reveals who he is…and what a response he gets. Having been led through self-knowledge to knowledge of him, she goes immediately to preach this Good News to the people of her city. Those people must have been so astounded at the transformation in her that they left the city to come to Jesus.
Too often and too easily, we have made religion a dull and insipid thing as though our faith should make us tone down life. With the transformation of this woman we see Jesus doing exactly the opposite. Previously this woman had used her personality to attract a few men – now it is a whole city. This is a challenge to us: each of us have attractive aspects to our personality. These Jesus wants to use to preach Good News. Imagine how you could do this! Imagine what Lady Gaga could do with a change of focus! Jesus offers us the fullness of life. May his Spirit fill our minds, hearts and lives so that we might radiate his glory.

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