St. Columba's Episcopal Church

Third Sunday in Lent

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For the week of Mar. 23, 2014

Gospel Meditation (John 4:5-42)

In this week’s reading, we hear the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. We hear of a human Jesus, a man tired from a long journey and from the demands of a thriving ministry. We see a Jesus who is exhausted, tired and beaten by the noon sun. Perhaps he is even a little irritated, flustered and in need of a break. At this moment, he has quite an unusual, yet seemingly mundane request; he asks a Samaritan woman for water. Sharing a drink and speaking to a woman in public were all frowned upon by law. The Samaritan is shocked and even begins to question and mock Jesus. At this point, we see Christ stepping back into his role, using this opportunity to further his ministry by bringing a path of salvation to the Samaritans. Eventually he not only causes the Samaritan woman to believe in him, but he converts the entire city.

This week’s gospel shows Jesus as both human and divine, needing water to soothe his parched throat and time to rest his sore legs, while also being the Water of Life, baptizing through the Spirit. Who do we identify with more, Jesus or the Samaritan woman? How are they similar? This week, while meditating on our own journey, we should reflect on what it takes for us to recognize Christ’s presence in our lives, much like the realization of the Samaritan that she had the Savior right in front of her. How can we also be more like Jesus and work toward salvation, even in moments when we may be “thirsty and tired?”

By Luigi LaPietra, Member of the Spiritual Formation Support Team

Visual Meditation

Claes Cornelisz Moeyaert,  Christ With The Samaritan Woman At the Well, 17th century

There is a well at the center of this scene. It seems to remind us that there is a deep well at the heart of all moments of truth. The Samaritan Woman’s encounter with Jesus was a turning point in her life. Little did she know that on this one day, when she went about her daily chores, she would be taking an entirely new route from that point on. What wells do you draw from? What else do your eye and spirit notice?

Musical Meditation

Medwyn Goodall, Water Music (Music for Relaxation & Meditation), 2009

As you listen to this soothing music, listen for both the background tones as well as the more dominant melodies in the foreground. How do they interact? Where are the turns, both the ones your ear anticipates as well as those it does not? We often get little notice when our lives are about to take an important turn, and the same is true of the entry of grace into a day. What else do your ear and spirit notice?


Lent reflections will be posted weekly, via our weekly email and also here online. These will include a written reflection on that Sunday's Gospel passage, as well as visual and musical meditations. Check back for next week's meditation.

Image: Public domain /

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