- Sunday March 12: Come to Living Water
- In Reading John for Dear Life, Jaime Clark-Soles claims the Samaritan woman “trades survival and sustenance for abundant life.” Jaime Clark-Soles then asks, “What if we left behind our water jars – which, truth be told, really never held all that much water anyway – and instead let living waters wash over us like a blessing, refreshing, cleansing, softening?” Is there a sense in your life of trading a life of survival and sustenance for abundant life? Has seeking a more contemplative life led to a sense of being blessed, refreshed, cleansed, softened? Journal in response to these questions. Consider posting your words in the community forum.
- Consider the things in your life that wash over you like a blessing – refreshing, cleansing, softening you. Commit to doing at least one of those things this week.
- A Blessing: May you live life as a river flows, carried by the surprise of your own unfolding (adapted from John O’Donohue).
- Time change: Please note that in most places in the US and Canada, the clocks will spring ahead one-hour on Sunday March 12. Please double check your local time if you wish to join this weeks’ prayer groups.
If you wish to re-read this week’s reflection, you may do so here: https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/word-of-the-week-march12
I felt called by this sentence from this week’s reflection:
“By habit we return and return to the wells we know, but by awakened choice we can open ourselves to living waters that carry us beyond the well-worn ways of thinking and being. ”
I’ve been guilty of staying in my comfort zone–thinking of myself as holding enlightened attitudes, but when someone is expressing anger, I tend to shut down and keep silent (and stop listening). Especially if I’m the person they’re angry with! But recently I’ve found myself more willing to listen. I try to understand. And even if I can’t understand, “just listening” seems to help. We think listening is too simple–it’s not a “solution”–a bias from our quick-fix culture. But if we listen, we’re saying “I’m willing to be with you in this.” Everyone needs to feel heard. It’s a powerful act of love.
- This reply was modified 9 months ago by ktahimsa_gmail_com.
This passage is so alive for me today. Jesus knew there was something different about her in that she was alone in the heat of mid day. The truth was likely that she was an outcast among the other women , since she had been married 5 times , and lived with someone not her husband. Jesus must have known that her history would yield many problems for her. yet he didn’t condemn her. in fact he treated her as having full dignity and humanity. He asked for a drink.
can you imagine us going around doing good with people who are outcasts , in “irregular “ relationships, who have a myriad of disgusting problems? The last thing we would do is treat them as if we were the ones in need.
what a lesson Jesus provides for us. He treated the woman at the well as the equal she was. More importantly (for me) , he didn’t analyze or try to “fix” her like she was some kind of object. He was honest with her without condemning. He befriended her and her community of Samaritans (outsiders for Jews). He persisted when criticized by his apostles.
her gratitude must have lifted his heart as he made his way to the mountain top to talk to his father at day.’s end.
I couldn’t agree with Kathleen more. It’s one of the liveliest stories in any of the canonic Gospels The woman is marginalized (as Susan says) and maybe even an outcast among other women – certainly she would be an outcast among all in Jerusalem, where she would more likely be stoned to death.
She’s interesting because she is familiar with scripture. She knows about the Messiah! Maybe she’s even literate? She also is fearless, talking alone to a strange man she’s never met before. I’d like for John to tell us more about her, but it’s enough, I guess.
Revelation continues, and that is why these gospel stories deliver over and over to us during our contemplative prayer, and our daily life. Actually, though I did study the woman at the well reading on Sunday, yesterday, as I was sitting with a situation within, up the story popped with all the nuances I needed.
It just amazes me how scripture feeds me every single day. There is something about it that sets it apart from all other spiritual texts. I never tire of it.
Sunday March 12: Come to Living Water
There are times along the contemplative path where life is of survival and sustenance, enabling us to trust Living Water washing over us to sustain. There are times when life calms and allows us to use prophetic vision to see just how nurtured and sustained. Then we can fill our new buckets (wineskins, perhaps?) with this never-ending blessing and pour this refreshment into all we encounter. Who can we refresh today? <3 linda
After a retreat I sat by a river and remembered the Anima Cristi which I had just learned:”water from the side of Christ. Wash me.” And I looked at the river. And I thought if the way the earth’s water circulates through the world. ( The planet doesn’t get “new” water, the same water circulates) And how the water the lady at the well drank, the water Jesus and everyone drank, even the water that passed through his body, I had probably drunk, even swam in, right there in that very river.
Some thirty years ago I participated in a ritual where a person could present her/himself for a blessing. If you chose this you named the blessing you were desiring often concluded with oil on you forehead or hands or …. My experience is that of living water welling up from some where deep within. Slowly I integrated this ritual at the end of a spiritual direction session or a 5th-step. I have been especially touched by these anonymous higher power moments, where we drink silently together. Thomas Keating mentions in “pooling our silence drinking from that well of living water”, And I add, washing over me loosening those hardened scales of my egoic happiness program. These three much over-used wells have experienced the gentle soothing blessing, cleansing, softening of the waters from this living well.
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