My reading of the Gospel accounts of Jesus and the disciples
sometimes surprises me that the disciples were surprised.
After all, I think, they were with Jesus.

The scripture lesson today provides yet another account in
which they respond to the surface story and miss the deeper
meaning. The disciples have apparently gone to a neighboring
town to buy food when Jesus and the Samaritan woman meet
each other. As unusual as this encounter is by the social and
religious standards of the day, the disciples return to find them
together. While astonished, they offer no comment—not a question,
a rebuke, nothing. They almost appear to be the stereotype
of the parent who thinks every problem can be solved with a
good meal, as they offer Jesus something to eat.

Jesus’ response to their offer to eat is met by words they do
not understand. Jesus’ source of life is a bread far beyond what
they offer. As he tells them: “My food is to do the will of him
who sent me and to complete his work.”

Jesus had engaged in an exchange of far greater depth with
the woman of Samaria, which he now extends to his disciples.
Their agenda is mealtime and, left to their own devices, they
would have missed the opportunity to understand the deep
work of the kingdom in which Jesus is engaged and in which
they, by virtue of being his followers, are also to be be engaged.
It doesn’t take many trees to block the forest. Sometimes it just
takes one. But he summons them to the fields that are “ripe for
harvesting.”

Only our openness to understanding the deeper meanings
of Jesus’ conversations with us will allow us to reap and help
Jesus “complete his work.”

Jesus, help me to disengage my preoccupations and listen. You are a loving teacher; may I become your willing pupil. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer John 4:5-42

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Leccionario Semanal
March 13–19, 2017
Resumen de la Escritura

All the readings af rm God’s benevolent care of those who place their well-being in God’s hands. While imperishable, God’s love can be frustrated by human pride and faithlessness. Water is an important symbol of God’s sustaining grace. In Exodus 17 the Israelites’ dependence on water becomes a statement about their dependence on God. The manner in which they obtain their water stands as commentary on human pride and arrogance. The psalm recounts this episode as a means of warning the people against the kind of obstinacy that impedes grace. John 4 focuses on the full actualization of God’s love in Jesus Christ through the “living water.” Paul speaks of God’s love being “poured into our hearts,” a grace that comes in the death and life of Jesus Christ.

Preguntas para la reflexión

• Read Exodus 17:1-7. When have you complained to God about a situation, only to discover God had already begun to forge a way through?
• Read Psalm 95. How does weekly worship allow you to hear God’s voice? How do you testify to God’s goodness?
• Read Romans 5:1-11. Reflect on a time when your suffering produced endurance and ultimately character.
• Read John 4:5-42. How do the words of Paul to Timothy about a worker “who correctly handles the word of truth” serve as a bridge between the “truth hurts” and the “truth will set you free”?

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