The story about how Jesus meets a woman at a well is our Gospel today. Notice it is a well whose water is still, not flowing water like that from the Jordan River. And it is “Jacob’s well,” the spot where the Hebrew patriarch Jacob met the love of his life, Rachael (Genesis 29:1-18). As she dialogues with Jesus, the woman at the well comes, step by step, to understand herself and her life. She plumbs the still waters of her soul and receives from Jesus “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” I’ve been reading the novel Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout. Olive is a woman in her late 70s and 80s who is finally coming to understand herself and the life she has lived, and through that understanding she becomes a better person. Lent is the gift of time the church gives us to examine our lives. We are invited to plumb the still waters of our own wells and let the Lord stir our waters so that we can see our true selves instead of any false selves we created, to fool ourselves or others. In the Gospel story, Jesus and the woman face the truth of her life, but Jesus does not condemn her. He only leads her further into discipleship. “Come and see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?” she says to her neighbors. Our Lenten reflections on our lives are not meant to get us stuck in regrets about our failures. They are meant to lead us further in our relationship with Christ.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia