Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Samaritan Woman

Today's gospel was John's account of the Samaritan woman. This has always been one of my favorite gospels. It seems very subtle. Unlike other important gospels, Christ is not taking on the religious establishment or challenging His disciples or accomplishing a miracle. Rather, He is sitting there, discussing mostly mundane things with a Samaritan woman. And in doing so, He wins over a group considered by the Jews of the day to be a schismatic offshoot of their religion.

The story of the Samaritan woman is found in John's gospel only. And as the homilist at my church pointed out, in some ways it contradicts other parts of the Biblical narrative, such as Matthew 10 where Jesus, in sending out his disciples, tells them to avoid pagan and Samaritan towns. Yet here is Jesus, not only entering Samaritan territory, but requesting that a Samaritan woman (considered unclean by the religious standards of the day) draw him water.

I am no theologian. But I have always found in this narrative that conversion is for everyone, and that God can be found in the simplest things.


Rodak said...

Samaritan woman (considered unclear by the religious standards of the day)

Women are, alas, always "unclear." That's why Freud had to ask "Women, what do they want?"

Or was it Groucho Marx?

Anthony said...

Actually, I thought it was Mel Gibson.

Rodak said...

No, he's the guy who said unkind things about our Jewish friends.