Daily Gospel Reflection - 13 January 2013
Just then, Jesus’ disciples arrived and were shocked that he was talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” The woman put down her water jar and went into the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who has told me everything I’ve done! Could this man be the Christ?” They left the city and were on their way to see Jesus.
In the meantime the disciples spoke to Jesus, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”
The disciples asked each other, “Has someone brought him food?”
Jesus said to them, “I am fed by doing the will of the one who sent me and by completing his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘Four more months and then it’s time for harvest’? Look, I tell you: open your eyes and notice that the fields are already ripe for the harvest. Those who harvest are receiving their pay and gathering fruit for eternal life so that those who sow and those who harvest can celebrate together. This is a true saying, that one sows and another harvests. I have sent you to harvest what you didn’t work hard for; others worked hard, and you will share in their hard work.”
Many Samaritans in that city believed in Jesus because of the woman’s word when she testified, “He told me everything I’ve ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this one is truly the savior of the world.”
There are a few of things to ponder here. The first is the being “fed by doing the will [of G_d.]” This reminds me of Moses being on the Mountain. There, the story goes, that Moses was in G_d’s presence for forty days and nights but “didn’t eat any bread or drink any water” (Exodus 34.28). I take both of these stories to mean doing G_d’s will - living The Way of Jesus, being Christ - is “food that endures for eternal life,” like we saw previously.
Next there’s the idea of “harvest.” You know, back in my youth, this was one of the key passages used for “soul winning.” I don’t think the “harvest” should only be limited to “saving the soul” of the Samaritan woman, Photine, or the community. The “harvest” should be understood as the complete implementation of G_d’s Realm “on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s what we’re told to pray for; to work for (Matthew 6.7-14). And that’s the way the community understood it, “This one is truly the savior of the world.”
This passage helps us to expand our vision. It helps us see that G_d’s mission for us as followers of Jesus is the implementation of the reconciling work of G_d through the cross of Christ:
2Corinthians 5.17-19: So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!
All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with this message of reconciliation.
We see that this reconciliation has already occurred. The harvest is ready. It is our vocation to expand G_d’s Realm. To reveal it to all creation.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC