January 18, 2021

Lent III

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, Guercino

By Chaplain Mike
Today’s Gospel: John 4:5-42

a sonnet

he knew, and how he knew i’ll never know
this thirsty stranger standing at the well
i came at noon to avoid abhorring eyes
and constant cutting comments i can’t quell
and there this man, this jewish stranger, stood
bold to approach, to speak, to break taboo
and even dare to ask me for a drink
i sneered in scorn; he did not have a clue
he took my guff and countered my disdain
by laying out my life in open view
yet, knowing all, the gift he still held forth
and suddenly, a thirst within me grew
he told me all things i had ever done
and waters flowed from this poor heart of stone


  1. Christiane says


  2. There’s a ballad (in various versions) based on this Gospel (very loosely based; it’s an incest/murder ballad), one version of which is sung by Planxty (from the singing of an Irish Traveller, John Reilly):


    And to make up for that, an excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for Lent:

    “The question that Jesus puts to the Samaritan woman: “Give me a drink” (Jn 4: 7), is presented to us in the liturgy of the third Sunday; it expresses the passion of God for every man and woman, and wishes to awaken in our hearts the desire for the gift of “a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life” (Jn 4: 14): this is the gift of the Holy Spirit, who transforms Christians into “true worshipers,” capable of praying to the Father “in spirit and truth” (Jn 4: 23). Only this water can extinguish our thirst for goodness, truth and beauty! Only this water, given to us by the Son, can irrigate the deserts of our restless and unsatisfied soul, until it “finds rest in God”, as per the famous words of St. Augustine.”

  3. Thank you, Mike. Please keep sharing your poetry with us.

  4. Thanks for sharing your excellent poetry gift!

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