“The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)” vs. 9
Culture wars and ethnic divisions have been around from the beginning of human attempts to live in community. We love to identify ourselves by our differences, whether of skin color, religion, or gender. Always those identifications carry a sense of superiority, a conviction that the “other” is inferior or even less human. Jesus was aware of those prejudices and may even have absorbed them as he grew up in Nazareth. He was certainly aware of the pagans in parts of Galilee and the Samaritans who inhabited the towns and villages on the way to Jerusalem. But he also knew that the good news was bigger than any differences. All people, men and women, Jews and Samaritans, get thirsty and need water to survive. All people are first of all much-loved children of God and therefore our brothers and sisters. We live in a time when such notions are being challenged and we are being urged to restore walls and reestablish racial and religious boundaries. Such divisions do nothing to establish community and seemed aimed at nothing more than provoking conflict. Those who have a call to walk in the way of Jesus will see beyond differences and embrace our common humanity. Today we’ve even set aside a day for solidarity with the Irish…especially the thirsty ones!
Thought for the Day: Why is racist rhetoric so appealing to so many?