Sunday, March 19, 2017

Catholic Women Preach: The Samaritan Woman, 3rd Sunday of Lent A, Sister Mary Catherine Hilkert OP, My Comments

Artist: Henryk_Siemiradzki.

"They began to believe in Jesus because of the witness of the woman who testified." 

This line is left out of shortened version read in most Catholic Churches today. 

(How can we foster full inclusion of women in the church if Catholics don't hear the important lines in the Gospel that affirm women as prominent disciples? Bridget Mary)

Jesus begins the conversation with the Samaritan Woman.
She asks the hard questions: "how can you ask me a woman and a Samaritan for a drink? By the time of Jesus, the Jews and Samaritans had nothing in common. 

(Vatican leaders have held a recent conference of 30 +women peace leaders. It is time to expand the conversation with women about church teachings and church practices that discriminate against women in decision making and at the altar. Bridget Mary)

The marginalized woman asks: Where can you get this living water?

(Today, women throughout the world ask when will society and our church recognize our true worth as equal human beings endowed with equal human rights? The church's failure to treat women as equals at the altar and in decision-making marginalizes women around the globe, and contributes to abuse, poverty, war, sexual trafficking, overpopulation and the devastation of the earth.  Bridget Mary)

Sister Mary Catherine: who is the stranger redefining tradition, and addressing  deeper spiritual search? The focus  of story not on loose woman but on her growing desire for living water. 

(All are called to wholeness and holiness. Keeping the rules, whether one is married or not was not Jesus' concern.  Jesus chose this woman for whom she was.  So why, for example, does the church waste its time on annulments and judging people's marriages. In the early church marriage was a family affair and the clergy was not involved in it. The hierarchy should  affirm conscience and emphasize that all of us are called to live lives of love, compassion and justice according to our consciences, and drop its obsession with sex. Jesus was not bothered by the Samaritan woman's marital status or sex life, so why should the hierarchy? Bridget Mary)

Jesus responds that true worshippers worship in spirit and truth, they don't seek God, as much as God seeks them. 

(Jesus revealed to her that he is the messiah--- what he had not revealed to any other disciple. ( This passage draws us into the heart of living deeply spiritual lives as the beloved of God, no matter what religion we are. Bridget Mary)

The Samaritan became a missionary disciple when she shared the good news with her village. She is a role model for all of us.

(The writer of the Gospel of John portrayed women- like the Samaritan woman and Mary of Magdala- as equals with the male disciples. Some scholars believe that this Gospel was written during a time of debate over the roles of women in the early church. We seem to be still stuck in the debate. Jesus and the Samaritan woman led the way for our companionship of empowerment as people of faith. Bridget Mary)

Pope Francis:
All of the baptized, all people of God , all who have experienced God's love are called to be missionary disciples like Samaritan woman was. 
Pope Francis sums it up: "so what are we waiting for?" 

(Amen, Pope Francis, Bridget Mary)

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