Woman at a Well, 1913 by Diego Rivera (1886-1957, Mexico) | | WahooArt.com

La mujer del pozo by Diego Rivera (1913)

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt

Read John 4:1-30

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

More thoughts for meditation

“There is a vital difference between knowing something in a conceptual or notional way and knowing it in a heart-felt and affective way. Jesuit Anthony de Mellow tells a story that illustrates the difference.

Uwais the Sufi was once asked,
‘What has grace brought you?’
He replied,
‘When I wake in the morning I feel
like a man who is not sure he will live till evening.’
Said the questioner,
‘But doesn’t everyone know this?’
Said Uwais,
‘They certainly do.
But not all of them feel it.

. . . Emotional realization is what makes a difference in spiritual transformation. Ignatius envisions the Spiritual Exercises as an experience to enter, not something to be watched. To distance oneself from the process and to study it only speculatively is to subvert the purpose.” — The Grateful Heart, pp. 62-63

Suggestion for action

Fostering intimacy with Jesus was the goal of the Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius suggests that we take time to contemplate all the stories the Gospels tell of Jesus’ life and ministry. Go back to a favorite story that you know well. (If you can’t think of one, try the one from John 4 listed above.) Pause before you read the story and ask God to give you something new in the passage. Read slowly and when a word or phrase draws your attention, pause again on that word or phrase. What do you associate it with that is going on in your current life circumstances? Follow any slight inclination you sense as you read. Don’t second-guess yourself with this, simply read and then see where your mind makes links to your life. Trust that God is in this process with you, that God’s love is guiding you by the Spirit who dwells in you.

A moving version of an old gospel song about being the woman at the well.

Today is C.S. Lewis Day! honor the great thinker, imagineer and apologist at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.