It’s human nature to believe in ourselves, our capabilities, our ability to control situations, and even (often to our peril) the merits of our thoughts and opinions (see our parish blog site for 21May’s offering on this topic). In short, we’re confident people in general, sometimes too much so for our own good.
Our Lord’s words to the Samaritan woman today ring out with this concept. “If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is that says to you….” (John 4:10)
“If only you knew….” How many times in our lives would that set of words ring true such that it would change the outcome of events in our lives?
We’ve all see politicians in our world saying things caught on video and audio that they would not have wanted to become public, but they didn’t know that the microphone was “live”. If they only knew….
We’ve had situations in our own lives that are similar. I can remember making a snap decision to buy a used car—because the family NEEDED one, only to find out that the car had significant maintenance issues that were hidden when we test drove it. Had I only known….
St. Photini (she IS the Samaritan woman) only recognized a Jewish Teacher standing at the well. Her eyes told her this, and this alone. Her knowledge of the relationship between Jews and Samaritans told her to get her water and to be on her way, to not even acknowledge the Man before her.
If she only knew that He would be the one to speak first.
“Give Me a drink.” As we’ve discussed over the past several weeks, our Lord is at the appointed places at the right times. He knows St. Photini will be here at high noon—a time inconsistent with other women who come to draw water, for she is “different” from the other women in Sychar by virtue of her ‘profession.’ She comes when others won’t be there.
Isn’t it fascinating that our Lord chooses to be there, at this very moment, when He could speak with her without ears of locals judging her, or even His Apostles (who were off getting food) from either judging or interrupting His moving this woman from sin to virtue, from fallenness to evangelist, from sinner to saint.
What does it take for our Lord, the Healer of both soul and body, to heal THIS soul? One simple request—”Go call your husband and come here.” When He makes the request, He knows where it will lead. It takes St. Photini to that place of true and full repentance by virtue of His knowing her sin, but not accusing and rather forgiving her!
It is THIS act that leads her to go and find whom? Not the women of the community. They still shun her. Rather, she goes to the men, those whom she has come to know, and she speaks boldly and evangelically. “Could this be the Christ?” The men believed her. The women would have ignored, shunned, and ridiculed her. The men heard her testimony and based on it went to hear the Lord for themselves.
What did St. Photini expect would be in her day as she arose? If she only knew…
What will it be like to live eternally with the Lord? If we only knew….
Christ is Risen!