omw.no.9

Jesus with the Samaritan woman in the well.


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ONE of the subjects brought up by Fr. Ed Jocson, one of the speakers in the CFC Lenten retreat I attended recently, was the role of the well in the evangelization work of Jesus Christ during the course of his extraordinary human life (extraordinary because he made the blind see and returned dead Lazarus back to life).

In John 4, Jesus had a meaningful dialogue with a woman from Samaria about “living water” instead of well water which could quench once thirst forever once it is drunk or taken or accepted by anyone.

During those times, Samaritans were looked down upon by the Jews.

There was nothing in common between them.

Demonstrating that He loved everyone, irrespective of race or origin, he continued talking to the woman until Jesus was able to convince her and her fellow Samaritans to become believers of God.

The woman with whom Jesus talked to had five prior husbands and, currently, had a partner.

Despite that, Jesus talked to her lengthily about evangelizing her and her partner.

(Partner was not used in the Bible.)

There are two lessons that I picked up from this discourse.

One: Jesus respected women’s rights (He did not say anything about the situation of the woman living with a man not her husband).

Two: Jesus was an affirmative and not discriminating individual.

Regarded as inferior by the Jews, the woman posed this question to Jesus: “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”

It was at that point when Jesus introduced the “living water,” which was none other than solid faith and belief in God the Father.

During the life of Jesus on earth, the well is the place where women in a community gather together, not only to get water, but also to make “tsismis” (rumor) about certain citizens of the community.

I won’t be surprised if Jesus did not hang out in the well.

It is possible he heard about the five husbands and the current partner from the well women.

Did you notice the woman Jesus talked to was in the well alone?

She must have been a favorite topic in the community.

Through history, the well has been replaced by Facebook, Twitter and Smartphone.


***


The Last Words of Jesus

(The following are excerpts from the contents of this column on April 3, 2015.)

The Christian world (around 90 percent of the 100 million Filipinos are Christians), once again, observes the Passion or sufferings of Jesus, his Death on the cross and his Resurrection on the third day.

Easter is the most meaningful Christian Holiday.

In our opinion, without Resurrection and without those miracles like Lazarus, Jesus Christ would just have been another saint or hero.

Next to the birth of Jesus in December, Holy Week is next in terms of solemnity and rituals or practices on the part of observers and believers.

There are actual crucifixions being performed every Good Friday in the Philippines, which have become tourist attractions.

But, those are done as personal sacrifices “to atone for wrongdoings” or to thank Jesus for blessings and healings received.

I’d like to deal on the last words or sayings of Jesus Christ while he was suffering on the cross shortly before his final breath.

As we know, there are seven last words that Jesus uttered.

These could be found in the following Books of the Bible:  

The seven sayings form part of a Christian meditation that is mentioned during Good Friday. These last words are:

1. Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

2. Luke 23:43: Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.

3. John 19:26–27: Woman, behold your son. Son Behold your mother.

4. Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34 My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

5. John 19:28: I thirst.

6. John 19:29-30: It is finished.

7. Luke 23:46: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

According to Wikipedia, traditionally, these seven sayings are called words of 1. Forgiveness, 2. Salvation, 3. Relationship, 4. Abandonment, 5. Distress, 6. Triumph and 7. Reunion.


***


Have a reflective and peaceful Holy Week.

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