“The world feels high lonesome and heartbroken to me right now. We’ve sorted ourselves into factions based on our politics and ideology. We’ve turned away from one another and toward blame and rage. We’re lonely and untethered. And scared. So damn scared.

But rather than coming together and sharing our experiences through song and story, we’re screaming at one another from further and further away. Rather than dancing and praying together, we’re running from one another. Rather than pitching wild and innovative new ideas that could potentially change everything, we’re staying quiet and small in our bunkers and loud in our echo chambers”

The excerpt above from Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness aptly describes the relationship of the Samaritans and the Jews in Jesus’ time - as we heard in the gospel story of the Samaritan woman at the well on Sunday. Religion and politics and culture were too often divisive instead of opportunities to learn, to invite, to encourage to new life. Jesus and the woman used humor and patience and truth as vehicles to break down barriers and restore right relationship. Although God initiates, it always takes two, for no relationship can happen in isolation.

Are we any different as people today in our homes, our communities, our world? Do I take the time to know and embrace that God loves me – and then accept the challenge to generously pour out that love on others? Am I willing to sit at the well of life in the noonday heat and build relationships instead of walls?

Jesus was “wild and innovative,” willing to give his life to “potentially change everything.” He asks us to “look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.” Am I, are we willing to dance and pray together, to share out songs and stories and join in creating the world anew this Lent and beyond?

Sister Laura Bregar