Today’s Gospel (John 4:5-42) gives us a glimpse into God’s unconditional mercy, love and forgiveness. When Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well, he brings up her past, but he doesn’t bring it up to condemn her or make her feel guilty. She had been married five times and was now living with yet another man, this time out of wedlock. She was the village sinner… an outcast. The woman, like all of us, was thirsting for understanding and acceptance. Jesus offers her the cleansing water of the truth of her life experience. There is no harsh, judgmental condemnation.
What a beautiful image of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This woman comes to Jesus not even knowing how burdened, thirsty and alone she is, but leaves excited and fulfilled. She knows her sins are forgiven and her guilt removed. She doesn’t keep this good news to herself. She goes back to her village and tells everyone of her experience.
This is what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is all about. It’s coming to Jesus and letting him set us free. It’s about letting Jesus gently probe us and bring our sins into the light so they can be washed away. It’s about experiencing a mercy that goes far beyond our expectation and being so transformed by it that we want to share it with everyone around us.
We all have a need for the grace of Reconciliation. We all have a need to meet Jesus and his limitless mercy. So no matter how serious your sin, whether it be adultery, abortion or simply turning away from God, know that Jesus is waiting for you by the well, ready to give you living water.
- Deacon Robert