Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hearing is believing

     The old saying usually goes "Seeing is believing" but in the story in the gospel of John for this Third Sunday of Lent it is truer to say "Hearing is believing".  When Jesus visited the Samaritan town of Sychar and encountered the woman at the well, she saw him in a personal encounter, but it was the word that he spoke to her, the revelation of who she really was, and the promise spoken that produced a deep hunger within her that caused her to believe. 
So moved, she left her water jar and went to the townsfolk and told them of her encounter, wondering if this could be the Christ?  They were curious and came out to see him, to hear him.  They acknowledged that they came on the word and the testimony of the woman who had met him at the well.  But then they acknowledged that having seen him themselves, after listening to his words and hearing his message, that they did not need to rely upon another's testimony ... they had come to believe because they had heard for themselves and were convinced that this "is truly the savior of the world".

     In our Diocese today we had Commitment Weekend for our Annual Diocesan Lenten Appeal.  As a priest there are very few things less appealing to me than to spend time on the practical things of asking for monies and support.  To help people fill out pledge cards during Eucharist drives me crazy.  However, the results of those efforts provide the means to support the various ministries and programs that help us give testimony, tell others of our encounter with Christ, show them the way so that they too can see and hear ... they too can come to that personal encounter with the source of life giving waters and can in turn believe because of what they have seen and heard.  I can accept being crazy for a short while in order to provide for the Good News being shared and countless others saying that "we know that this is truly the savior of the world".

     In the Preface for today it says:

"For when [Jesus] asked the Samaritan woman
for water to drink,
he had already created the gift of faith within her
and so ardently did he thirst for her faith,
that he kindled in her the fire of divine love."
thank for for the gift of faith generously given,
the gift of faith desired from us,
and the fire of your love.

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