I often cry at Mass, but I’ve never cried during a homily- until tonight. Tonight, I had tears streaming down my face the whole time. It was like God was using the priest to speak to directly to me.
This week’s gospel is the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. I can’t really replicate this homily here, but I’ll try to summarize.
We all have these walls we put up, from our hurts, our sin, our wounds. We put them up to protect ourselves, so we won’t get hurt again. Though these walls may protect us, they also don’t let anyone in- not even God. And as long as those walls are up, we can’t heal.
The woman obviously had something wrong in her life. She was at the well in the middle of the day, rather than in the morning with everyone else. She clearly wanted to avoid seeing the other women in the village.
You can picture Jesus smiling knowingly when he said, “Go get your husband.” And you can picture the woman say, rather hard and defensive, “I don’t have a husband.” There. There’s the sore spot. And Jesus reaches in with, “I know. You’ve had 5 husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband.” There’s the wound. Clearly she must have been through some terrible things.
Later, she goes out to the very townspeople she had been avoiding and says, “This man told me everything I’ve ever done. Could he be the Christ?”
The only way to heal is to let the walls crack enough to let Jesus in. And he is the only one who can heal you. And he’ll use that very thing, that wound, to transform you and bring you to him. That wound is how you are going to glorify him.
He knows everything you’ve ever done. Learning that your life was not what you thought it was, discovering that you would never be a “normal” person, realizing that you could never again look at things the same way, feeling like an outcast, knowing that there would be no one else in your life who would really “get it”-that’s exactly what he’s going after. He’s going to reach in with his healing touch and turn that around so it can be used for good, to bring others to him. He’s going to help you tear down those walls.
And it all starts with a crack.