Jesus does not go to the one who belongs to his social circle, who shares his moral belief system, he does not even go to the one who worships his Father. He goes to the woman whose people worshiped five idol gods on their mountain. He enters into a relationship with her, asking her for a drink, listening to her questions.
All throughout this relationship that starts at the well of Jacob, a place outside of holy Jerusalem, something epic happens in the heart of this unnamed Samaritan Woman. As she enters into these conversations with Jesus she first acknowledged him as a prophet (4:19), then a Messiah (4:25), and at the end of the story, the samaritans profess him as savior (4:42). Hearing her story today is refreshing because after listening to Jesus she is filled with the exuberant joy of the early Church. Her theology of Jesus had not been perfected, she still had questions, she still sought to understand, yet with all these questions, she ran to tell her community about the living water. In her encounter with Jesus, she came to understand that our Lord understood her brokenness, her past, her adultery, and still wanted her because he thirsted for her. In her encounter with Jesus, she knew she no longer had to pull water from the stagnant well of Jacob for she met the raging torrent of living water, the raging torrent of Mercy, the raging torrent of God’s nearness in the face of Jesus Christ.
Thirst is greater than hunger. While the Samaritan went to tell her community about the living water who is Jesus, Jesus looks at you and is thirsty for you! He longs for his children to return to him in the Sacrament of Confession, to meet him as Savior. He longs for Catholics to come home and to stay a while, to savor his presence rather than be in a rush to leave. He longs for you with all your unanswered questions.