Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Be not stubborn and put our trust in God. Open our hearts and listen to God speaking in the depths of our hearts. Let Him come to us and make us once again to be worthy of Him. Be open to the words of God and do not harden our hearts against Him, and our salvation will surely come upon us and we will rejoice with God.
Do not be like the Israelites but rather be like the Samaritans, this is the message that we need to learn today. Not to be prejudiced over one race of people against another, so that is why we need to understand first the context and background that made up the scene in our Gospel reading today.
At that time, and ever since the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel, about seven centuries before the birth of Christ, the remnants of the Israelites, commonly called the Jews since then, had been at odds with the people who lived at the former territories of the northern kingdom.
These people had been brought in by the Assyrian conquerors to replace the people of the northern kingdom who had been mostly deported to the far away territories of the Assyrian Empire, and these people intermingled with the remnants of the people of the northern kingdom to form the people called the Samaritans, because they lived in the region of Samaria, the former capital of the northern kingdom.
The Jews despised the Samaritans because ever since their exile in Babylon, they had been largely faithful to the law of God, and under the leadership of the Pharisees, they became rather puritans in faith, that is they were very zealous and proud of their faith in God as well as their heritage of the faith and full observation of God’s laws. And the Samaritans stood in contrast to this, as they mixed their ancestors’ pagan rites with the faith of the Israelites in God.
So essentially the Jews and the Samaritans worship the same God, but they were at odds because of their differences, in how they worship the Lord their God. And in particular because the Jews and their faith believed that they were the only ones worthy of salvation because they were of God’s chosen people, and exclude others as pagans and unworthy of salvation, refusing to deal with them as much as possible.
Well, as we see from the Scriptures, we know that Christ was first sent to the Jews, to the chosen people of God, to tell them of God’s Good News of salvation. Yet, as we know, they refused to listen to Him, or just believed superficially without real substance of the faith.
Jesus’ own neighbours in His own hometown rejected Him, the Pharisees and the chief priests rejected Him, and the same people who believed in Him and put their faith in Him because of His miracles and healings called for His death and crucifixion on the cross. Yet, the Samaritans believed in what He said and followed Him.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, as Jesus Himself said, that all who believes in Him will receive eternal life, we too will receive what He promised to the Samaritan woman if we genuinely believe in Him. And we should not be prejudiced against anyone based on their background either, and worst of all we should not claim to be righteous over another and condemn them for their supposedly ‘lesser’ faith.
Instead, let us help one another to believe more and more in God, and let us help one another to reach out to the Lord, that all of us may together be saved and may one day be together in heaven, all as the same children of the same God. Let us go together and worship the Lord as one. May God guide us and help us on our way. Amen.