Uncomfortable Change

The reading from John, Chapter 4, Verses 5 – 42, was about compassion and peace. The basic background information about this reading is that the woman, a Samaritan, was approached by Jesus, a Jew. In their time, Samaritans were deemed the outcast of society, as were the lepers and sick from other stories. These were seen as having done something wrong, as having received a punishment from God. This is why they were separated, because they were not worthy of God’s gifts.

As Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, it symbolized a double ‘whammy’, if you will. One, she was a woman, thought to be less than a man, and two, she was an outcast. Jews were to avoid them, but not Jesus. When Jesus talked to her and engaged her in conversation, this brought down the wall of separation in a message that said, “It doesn’t matter who and what you are, we are all to be one and deserve the blessing of God, the Father. God didn’t choose a specific people, God choose everyone and excluded NO ONE.”

At the first sign that Jesus speaks of this “living water” one can detect that it must be a metaphor for something greater. The woman takes it in a literal sense. The disciples also fail, in multiple occasions they read past the literal action or words. They are so driven by their basic life, which the messages that Jesus tries to portray are left unnoticed, as we do in our daily lives. I feel as if we are caught up in this routine every day. When we go out and not speak up about something that we see is wrong, in our minds we may be thinking, “Well I’m only one person, what good am I going to do.” This, in my eyes is thinking in a literal sense. Yes, you are one person, but the actions you commit to, it is another message that you may not be aware that you have portrayed. For all we know, we may have given the confidence to a near bystander, if not the offender, to stand up for what is right next time. We need to give our actions and seek for that more powerful meaning, as that of the living water.

This story gives me a feeling of purpose and of comfort. To know that sometimes one is not comfortable to go against the norms of society, it is something that Jesus did in his daily life, and sometimes necessary. I WILL stand up for what is right, I WILL speak up to give those who do not have a voice, I WILL not take the easy way out and ignore the problem, I WILL….. create change, and the change will start with me.

Erik Oviedo, a Theology major with a minor in Philosophy, is a contact for the Society of Mary (Marianists).  He serves as a Resident Assistant for Founders Hall. Erik keeps busy with many activities such as indoor and outdoor soccer, Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Classes, Homework,as well as his favorite activity, visiting the café to eat. He was born and raised in Brownwood, Texas.


About bhalderman

A Marianist brother who works as the University Minister for Social Justice and as adjunct faculty in the department of Sociology at St. Mary's University. Brian holds a Masters in Social Work and a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies.

Posted on March 27, 2011, in Lenten Reflections. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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