17 February 2015
ANNUNCIATION You have no bucket and the well is deep (John 4:11)
Genesis 46:1-7 God tells Jacob not to be afraid of going down to Egypt
Psalm 133 How good it is when kindred live together in unity
Acts 2:1-11 The day of Pentecost
John 4:7-15 “You have no bucket and the well is deep”
Jesus needed help. After a long walk, fatigue strikes. Exhausted in the heat of noon, he feels hungry and thirsty (Jn 4:6). Furthermore, Jesus is a stranger; it is he who is in a foreign territory and the well belongs to the woman’s people. Jesus is thirsty and, as the Samaritan woman points out, he has no bucket to draw water. He needs water, he needs her help: everybody needs help!
Many Christians believe that they alone have all the answers and they need no help from anyone else. We lose a lot if we maintain this perspective. None of us can reach the depths of the well of the divine and yet faith demands that we delve deeper into the mystery. We cannot do this in isolation. We need the help of our Christian brothers and sisters. Only then can we reach into the depths of the mystery of God.
A common point in our faith, regardless of the church to which we belong, is that God is mystery beyond our comprehension. The search for Christian unity brings us to the recognition that no community has all the means to reach into the deep waters of the divine. We need water, we need help: everybody needs help! The more we grow in unity, share our buckets and join the pieces of our ropes, the deeper we delve into the well of the divine.
Brazilian indigenous traditions teach us to learn from the wisdom of the elderly, and at the same time, from the curiosity and innocence of infants. When we are ready to accept that we do need each other, we become like children, open to learn. And that’s how God’s Kingdom opens for us (Mt 18:3). We must do as Jesus did. We must take the initiative to enter into a foreign land, where we become a stranger, and cultivate the desire to learn from that which is different.
- Do you remember situations in which your church has helped another church or has been helped by another church?
- Are there reservations from the part of your church to accept help from another church? How can these reservations be overcome?
God, spring of the Living water,
help us to understand that the more we join together the pieces of our ropes,
the more deeply our buckets reach into your divine waters!
Awaken us to the truth that the gifts of the other,
are an expression of your unfathomable mystery.
And make us sit at the well together
to drink from your water
which gathers us in unity and peace.
We ask this in the name of your son Jesus Christ,
who asked the Samaritan woman to give him water for his thirst.