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March 19, 2017

When asked about her pastor, without any hesitation she said, “On six days a week he is INVISIBLE and on the seventh he is INCOMPREHENSIBLE!” Then she added, “That is why when he is delivering his homily, I make my grocery list!

Her opinion is different from the opinion of the Samaritan woman in the Gospel this weekend.  At first she called the Supreme Pastor “a Jew,” then “a prophet,” and finally she told the town’s people that Jesus was “the Messiah.”

Jesus’ preaching to this outcast woman was ever so gentle.  He met her where she was. He didn’t give her any abstract teaching or force him into her life.  Had he done so, she would no doubt have immediately closed up.  There is a world of difference of asking a person for a key to her house and battering the door down.  Jesus began by interacting and asking.  He started as the one in need.  He disarmed her with the simple request for a drink of water and a dialogue ensued.  The lady soon sensed that this man had time for her and seemed to understand her.  Before she realized it, she had shared with him her whole sad life story.  Jesus showed her that she looked for the right thing (love) in a wrong place.  Then he told her that he could give her the water to quench her thirst for love and meaning in life.  Where was this water to come from?  Surprisingly, it was to come (to bubble up) from inside her.  The stream was already there.  It was just that up to now it had been hidden and blocked.  Jesus was the one who made it spring out again.

The gentle Christ meets us where we are.  At any time, any place, in any circumstance the encounter can take place.  You get a feeling that for some Catholics this encounter never happens.  If this is so, then it is a great pity.  For Christ says to us what he said to the lost and found woman, “If you only knew the gift God wants to give you…”

However, this encounter rarely happens in a dramatic way.  More often it comes as the result of a slow growth in intimacy with Christ, until the time comes (again like the woman) we are an open book to him.  Then we will not be afraid to let him see how poor we really are and how thirsty we are for lasting happiness and love.  If he asks something from us, it is only because he has something better to give us in return.  Are you ready to encounter the Lord today?