March 28, 2011

I was struck today by Gospel of the Woman at the Well. This Gospel has been used as a reading for persons getting ready for Baptism at Easter since the beginning of Christianity. Parishes who have catechumens use this gospel and everyone uses it when we are in the year A cycle for Lent. Since we don't have catechumens at the abbey I am always happy when it is year A when we hear this gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Lent. I remember a literature professor commenting on this gospel saying that it was one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. The back and forth between Jesus and the woman are incredible. It is a shocking story too. In the culture of Jesus it was totally taboo for him to be speaking to a woman by herself, especially a Samaritan woman. Studying the gospels from many angles helps us to open them up to their deep meaning. Monastics spent a lot of time doing this and doing lectio divina to hear what the Lord is saying to us personally through His gospel.

Sister Maggie