Journeying Together is a weekly series of Lenten reflections. Each Monday during Lent, a student or adult from the Prep community will share a reflection, which will be archived here. Our second reflection comes from Mr. Kieran Halloran, S.J. of the Religion department and Campus Ministry
Within such a rich gospel passage, as the story of the woman at the well, I find that I often can miss some of the smaller details that are incredibly significant. Towards the beginning of the passage we are told that, “Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.” Although this line merely sets up the context for Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well, it is nonetheless worth noting just how remarkable this sentence is. Jesus, the Son of God, the King of Kings, our Lord and Savior, is tired. Here we encounter the mystery and the majesty of how God chose to act in the world – by becoming human and experiencing human weakness and frailty. It would be reasonable to expect that God’s great plan for the salvation of humanity would be through some show of strength, some conquering of all that holds us down. However, as this story reminds us and as we remember on Good Friday, Jesus’ act of salvation looks different. Instead Jesus embraces our tiredness, our thirst, and our weakness. In the midst of all of the mess that is humanity, Jesus comes and casts his lot with us.
This act by Jesus has two key implications for us today. The first is simply that we worship a God who knows what it means to be human. Central to the Incarnation is that God became human in all ways but sin. Jesus knows what it is like to be tired, to be thirsty, to be stressed even! Therefore, we can be confident and bring before the Lord our whole being, our tiredness, our worries, our longings and frustrations because Jesus understands it all. And with that understanding Jesus brings his redemptive grace. The second implication of Jesus’ incarnation is that we are not alone. Jesus, in His love, breaks through to our life and places himself right next to us.
Lately, we have experienced much uncertainty, anxiety, and fear in the face of the unknown. But even with our uncertainty about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, we can be certain that Jesus understands and embraces us in our weakness. And as there is more and more talk about isolation and quarantine, we can be confident that we are never isolated from God’s loving presence. As Prep and so many other schools begin distance learning and take the appropriate precautions to cope with this disease, the Gospel points us to have faith and hope and courage because of the depth of love that God has for each and every one of us.
Mr. Kieran Halloran, S.J., Religion & Campus Ministry
You can find all of our weekly Journeying Together reflections here.