One of the great joys of studying and working at the Faculty of Theology is the opportunity to share our faith, whether it’s during our weekly liturgies, class discussions, impromptu chats springing up in the student lounge or at one of our social events.
As part of our collective Lenten journey, we are sharing seasonal reflections written by students and Faculty as a way to include the broader community in the life of the Faculty.
Our reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent is written by Nick Cotman of Kingston, ON and completed a Joint Honours in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Ottawa in Spring 2016. I am currently a fully time student in the Masters of Theological Studies program, and work over the summer as a marina supervisor.
Psalm 95.1-2, 6-7ab, 7c-9
romans 5.1-2, 5-8
The narrative of Jesus and the woman at the well is filled with rich pastoral, moral, and theological themes. I would like to highlight the significance of Jesus’ decision to instigate a conversation, and the inspiring response of the woman
It was common practice for women to communally retrieve water from the well in the morning before the heat of the day, so it is meaningful that the passage notes this meeting takes place at noon. Having had multiple husbands, the woman is a social outcast and unwelcome to go to the well with the other local women. Jesus is aware of her social status and sin, yet still instigates a conversation. Jesus wants to ensure that this woman has the opportunity to hear what he has to offer: living water, eternal life.
This passage is a great example of how eagerly Christ wants to share this gift with us. Speaking not simply to a Samaritan, but a Samaritan woman who is an outcast in this already detested community, we see that Jesus is not deterred by worldly judgment and expectation. God is always prepared to offer us this gift, regardless of our status or current struggles with sin. The Lord meets us where we are; we must simply respond.
This passage also reminds us of our responsibility in the sharing of this gift. We have the duty and privilege of extending it to others. This is exemplified not only in Jesus’ generosity, but also by the woman. The author says that, “Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.” Like the woman at the well, let us be open to receive all that Jesus offers us and prepared to share it joyously with others, especially during this Lenten season.