Michael R. Simone, S.J. comments that this Samaritan woman was one of Christ’s first evangelists. He continues:
John shows us a lonely woman. She is living with a man who has no permanent obligations to her. She scurries to the well in the heat of the day; others go at dawn and dusk. Most Christians can understand why Christ would desire to save such a person. What we might miss is that he did not send her away, admonishing her to avoid further sin. Instead, Christ makes her an evangelist, sending her out to call others to him.
In his love Jesus sees things in us that we do not see in ourselves. Last week, Matthew showed us that Jesus’ love is radiance in heaven. This week, John shows that Jesus’ love illumines our minds as well. Jesus calls his disciples to a life they cannot imagine for themselves. The woman in today’s Gospel has a complicated and tragic past but he becomes a wellspring of hope for her village. She experiences a foretaste of her own resurrection. The church reads her story during Lent, in preparation for the sacraments of initiation at Easter, because it is only as a result of Christ’s death and resurrection, in which we share through baptism, that we can have similar encounters today. In every age, Christ’s disciples come to him with their own heartbreak and depravity. The light of his dreams lifts us up and sends us out to bear his light to the world. (America)
How did Christ call me to a new life?
How can a selfless love free an enslaved soul in my family?
Among my friends? In my world?
There is a thirst in every human heart.
Each of us is like that lonely Samaritan woman.
We are thirsting for something,
something that will satisfy all our longings.
But often we search in the wrong places.
We draw water from many wells:
The water of praise to quench our thirst for self-esteem;
The water of success to quench our thirst for importance,
The water of pleasure to quench our thirst for joy…
But we still get thirsty.
Only God can give us what we are looking for.
He alone can cause a spring to well up inside us.
The water from this spring will sustain us
In our journey to the promised land.
-Flor McCarthy, SDB