Gospel: John 4: 5-42

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.

The hour was about noon.  When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”  The disciples had gone off to the town to buy provisions.  The Samaritan woman replied, “You are a Jew.  How can you ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”  Recall that Jews would have nothing to do with Samaritans.

Jesus answered, “If only you recognized God’s gift, and who it is who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked him instead, and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” she challenged Jesus, “you do not have a bucket and this well is deep.  Where do you expect to get this ‘living water’?  Surely you do not pretend to be greater than our ancestors Leah and Rachel and Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it with their descendants and flocks?”  Jesus replied, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.  But those who drink the water I give them will never be thirsty; no, the water I give will become a fountain within them, springing up to provide eternal life.”

The woman said to Jesus, “Give me this water, so that I will not grow thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”  Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and then come back here.”  “I have no husband,” replied the woman.  “You are right in saying you have no husband,” Jesus exclaimed.  “The fact

is, you have had five, and the man you are living with now is not your husband.  What you have said is true.”

“I can see you are a prophet,” answered the woman.  “Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you people claim that Jerusalem is the place where God ought to be worshiped.”  Jesus told her, “Believe me, an hour is coming when you will worship neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You people worship what you do not understand; we understand what we worship – after all, salvation is from the Jews.  Yet an hour is coming – and is already here – when real worshipers will worship God in Spirit and truth.  Indeed, it is just such worshipers that God seeks.  God is Spirit, and those who worship God must worship in Spirit and truth.”

The woman said to Jesus, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the Anointed One, who will tell us everything.”  Jesus replied, “I who speak to you am that One.”   The disciples, returning at this point, were surprised that Jesus was speaking with this woman.  No one dared to ask, “What do you want of him?” or “Why are you talking with her?”  The woman then left her water jar and went off into the town.  She said to the people, “Come and see someone who told me everything I ever did!  Couldn’t this be the Messiah?”  At that, everyone set out from town to meet Jesus.

Meanwhile the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” But Jesus told them, “I have food to eat about which you do not know.”  At this, the disciples said to one another, “Do you suppose that someone has brought him something to eat?”  Jesus explained to them, “Doing the will of the One who sent me and bringing this work to completion is my food.  Do you not have a saying, ‘Four months more and it will be harvest’?  Listen to what I say; open your eyes and see!  The fields are ripe and ready for harvest!  Reapers are already collecting their wages; they are gathering fruit for eternal life, and sower and reaper will rejoice together.  Here we have the saying verified, ‘One person sows; another reaps.’   I sent you to reap what you had not worked for. Others have done the work, and you have come upon the fruits of their labor.”

Many Samaritans from that town believed in Jesus on the strength of the woman’s word of testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  The result was that, when these Samaritans came to Jesus, they begged him to stay with them awhile.  So Jesus stayed there two days, and through his own spoken word, many more came to faith.  They told the woman, “No longer does our faith depend on your story.  We have heard for ourselves, and we know that this really is the Savior of the world.”

The Good News as spoken through John.

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