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Pastor's Column

The Woman at the Well

Pastor’s Column

3rd Sunday of Lent

March 15, 2020

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What was it that the woman at the well found most attractive about Jesus? He told her everything she ever did! You and I too will each have a "woman at the well" discussion on the last day of our lives with Christ. Jesus will point out where you influenced someone to the good, as well as where you hurt someone and how it played out in their lives.

If only we could have this conversation now. What good is it to wait until life is over to see which areas of our lives please the Lord and which need to be corrected? Isn't the time now? If only he could get through to us now, how much more effective servants we would be for him. A deep examination of conscience: this is what most of us need. Once a day, and a deeper examination on occasion, is the best way to advance in the spiritual life, as well as to prepare for a good confession. He wishes to converse with you about the deepest things in your life.

Where will you meet him? Well, surely in a formal time of prayer, at Mass or in the Adoration chapel. But notice that the woman in our gospel is busy about her work when she encounters Christ! She has come to draw water. Christ meets her and converses with her in the midst of her life’s activities, and he wishes to do the same with you and me. When I have achieved a victory in patience, for example, I can speak to Jesus about it. He will encourage me to persevere in this virtue. If I have sinned, I should come to Jesus right away and talk to him about it, even before confession. He wishes to show us the patterns in our lives.

What is holding me back from really serving God well in this world? So many of us lead unexamined lives. We go through life not really understanding how we appear before the eyes of God. We are all called to a mission in life, and one of the ways that God wishes us to fulfill this mission is by learning to live our lives, to make choices that are pleasing to God.

I think that we might see ourselves as a pen in God's hands. Right now, he wishes to write a beautiful story with you and with your cooperation, much as an author might use a pen when writing. But many of us are like a pen that blots and skips and not the kind of pen that one would use for a nice letter or document. Still, God persists in using us, though he does want to clean out the ink and fix that ball bearing that sticks and skips, and he will if we let him. Otherwise, we are liable to leave as our life's work a document that is filled with all these ugly ink blots (self-will and unrepentant sin).

One day, my days to be used as a pen in God's hands will be finished. We each have a certain amount of ink to use, and we usually are not permitted to know how much ink we have left. God will never put your pen down until that time, no matter how ugly the writing may be at times; but if we live an examined life and permit God to clean us out, especially through a good heart to heart talk with the Lord, by examining our lives thoroughly, going to confession and allowing him to act, he can do wonders with you, the pen he has in his hand right now.

Father Gary

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