Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Sunday 15 March 2020
First Reading: Exodus 17:3-7
Second Reading: Romans 5:1-2,5-8
Gospel: John 4:5-42
Today’s Gospel presents Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman in Sicar, near an old well where the woman went to draw water daily. That day, she found Jesus seated. He immediately overcomes the barriers of hostility that existed between Jews and Samaritans and breaks the prejudice against women. 
His simple request from Jesus is the start of a frank dialogue, through which he enters with great delicacy into the interior world of a person to whom, according to social norms, he should not have spoken. But when Jesus sees a person he goes ahead, because he loves us all. He never hesitates before a person out of prejudice. Jesus sets her own situation before her, not by judging her but by making her feel worthy, acknowledged, and thus arousing in her the desire to go beyond the daily routine.
Jesus’ thirst was for the encounter with a parched soul. The woman is moved by this encounter: she asks Jesus several profound questions. We, too, have many questions to ask, but we don’t have the courage to ask Jesus! Lent is the opportune time to look within ourselves, to understand our truest spiritual needs, and to ask “give me a drink that will quench my thirst forever”.
The Gospel says that the disciples marveled that their Master was speaking to this woman. But mercy is greater than prejudice. The outcome of that encounter by the well was the woman’s transformation: “the woman left her water jar”, with which she had come to draw water, and ran to the city to tell people about her extraordinary experience. 
She was excited. She had gone to draw water from the well, but she found another kind of water, the living water of mercy from which gushes forth eternal life. She found the water she had always sought! She runs to the village, that village which had judged her, condemned her and rejected her, and she announces that she has met the Messiah: the one who has changed her life. 
In this Gospel passage we likewise find the impetus to leave behind our water jar, the symbol of everything that is seemingly important, but loses all its value before the love of God. 
What is our interior water jar, the one that weighs us down, that distances us from God? We are called to rediscover the importance and the sense of our Christian life, initiated in Baptism and, like the Samaritan woman, to witness to our brothers. To witness to the joy of the encounter with Jesus. And so, we must tell of the marvelous things the Lord can do in our hearts when we have the courage to set aside our own water jar.