Beyond water, there’s a deeper image that runs throughout today’s readings: the hardened heart. The joyful hearts of the Israelites that had sung and danced by the seashore now were hardened by thirst. Their stony hearts no longer heard their mission to the Promised Land as a journey to life but only as a death march.
Their hope in God had run dry. Better to live a slave in a land they knew than to die free in a place they didn’t. Saint Paul reminds us, however, that “hope does not disappoint” for God’s love has been poured into our hearts. God’s initiative soaks our hearts with love until we are unafraid to respond to Christ’s invitation to follow him into a new way of life.Have cynicism, disappointment, or prejudice hardened our own hearts that we no longer hear or can respond to Jesus’s invitation to leave our fear behind and take on his mission? Click To Tweet
That’s the heart of what we see in today’s Gospel. Drop by drop, breaking the societal boundaries of gender, race, nationality, and religion, Jesus breaks through the Samaritan woman’s own hardened heart until she dives headlong into his invitation to a new mission. No longer does she have to be that woman. Now, she becomes the woman by whose testimony an entire town leaves their old life behind.
Have cynicism, disappointment, or prejudice hardened our own hearts that we no longer hear or can respond to Jesus’s invitation to leave our fear behind and take on his mission?
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”