On Friday, we here at CSC had a no class day. Which was beyond perfect. I was fine with that. However in exchange for no classes we had an all day conference over the sacrament of penance, or confession. Again I was all too happy to oblige that. The person giving the retreat was a Fr. Pat from the diocese of Indianapolis, he shared with us many tools to help make confession more fruitful. He even offered a section for us to ask questions about confession to cover things make he didn’t cover in the talks.
One thing he reflects on was great and I feel like I’m supposed share it with you. so this next part is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 4. It’s about the Samaritan woman and jesus at the well.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)Jesus answered and said to her,c “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”[The woman] said to him, “Sir,* you do not even have a bucket and the well is deep; where then can you get this living water?Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?”Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come back.”
The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus answered her, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.”fThe woman said to him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews.But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;* and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming,k the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her, “I am he,* the one who is speaking with you.” At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,* but still no one said, “What are you looking for?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?”They went out of the town and came to him.
Now, the sacrament of penance is like this encounter of the Samaritan woman. She came in the middle of the day to get water. Why not at the begging? When it was cooler? Instead she came in the middle of the day to stay away from the other women of the town. Ones who might talk behind her back and make fun of her for her situation in life. While she is talking to Jesus, she sets her jug down and gets pulled into conversation with him. It is only after he reveals himself to her that she starts to see the light, his light.
In her haste to share the good news, she leaves her jug there. That jug is our sins that we bring to Jesus in the sacrament. I had never thought of this story like that. We come in the heat of the day to draw water, caring our sins. However when we encounter God, we forget that we have this jar. We need not to fill it for we have been filled with the Lord.
I pray that you reflect on this reading more for your own edification. If you haven’t received the sacrament in a while I also hope that this will push you towards the confessional. Remember, in a world ruled by gossip and technology the confessional is the one last safe place.
P.S. I started this blog a year ago. At the same time I started this blog I deleted my Facebook. So happy one year anniversary!