Over the next three weeks as we prepare for Easter and welcoming a new member into our Church we are turning to the readings for Cycle A, namely readings that speak to us about our being Born Again through water and the Holy Spirit. About your transformation into members of the Body of Christ.
This week we find Jesus with the Women at the well. A women who came to the well in the middle of the day so that she would not be shamed by the other women in the village. She was unaware that she would encounter Jesus that knew her past, knew her present and would open for her living water for eternal life.
The faith of this women transforms her village. She left beside the well her bucket, symbol of her shame and sinful past. Only when she could leave it beside the well was she then free to run and tell others about Jesus, “One who told her everything, could he not be the Messiah?” Jesus enters into her deepest self, into her shame and heals and restores her. When Jesus touches your life you can’t help but to tell others what He has done for you.
Let us join our Elect in experiencing the transformative power that comes from a personal encounter with Jesus. Allow Jesus in to our deepest and most hidden parts of our lives. It is here that Jesus meets us, just as we are with all our baggage, our stuff, with our buckets filled with sadness and shame, with our past that we seek to hide from others.
I recall in my preaching class asked to choose a poem to read, to embody and I chose “We wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar is about the physical and emotional oppression of African slaves in America. Dunbar, who was himself an African-American descendant of slaves, first published the poem in 1896.
The women at the well wore a mask that she thought she could hide from Jesus, however, he saw through her mask and entered into her very core. She no longer had to hide in shame, she was able to remove her mask and share the love of Jesus. Let us remove our masks and leave our buckets at the well.
Fr. Stephan Brown, SVD