Third Sunday of Lent Homily

Posted on Mar 22, 2017


19 March 2017


It’s a short but curious line which has remained the same in this story of the Samaritan Woman across several translations, and which has always stuck in my mind:

“Come and see a man who told me everything I have done.”

Now another story. Once there was a very pious husband and wife.

When they gave birth to their first, and only child,

they hoped more than anything this child would grow up to be a lover of God.

When he reached the age of reason, and just able to read and write,

they gave him a blank book and told him, every time you sin, write your sin in this book.

The little boy did as he was told.

The book was never far from him–even as he grew older,

started his own family, and then was close to death.

As he lay on his death bed, his wife and children crowded around him.

His oldest daughter asked him,

“Father, all our lives we have seen you with a book.

What did you write all these years in the book?”

He said, “I have kept track of all my sins.  I have written them down.”

“Where is it now?” his daughter asked.

The father told her where it was and bid her go get it.

She expected to find more than one book, of course,

but was surprised when there was only the one book.

When she brought it to his side, he had already died.

She opened the book and saw only a few lines written on the first page.

She turned to her mother for an explanation.

Her mother said, “When one has to keep track of one’s sins, One is more careful.”

“Come and see a man who told me everything I have done.”

The truth is that we do not live very deliberate lives.

Most of us may in fact try not to reflect on the morality of each of our choices.

It’s easier, living not thinking.

The woman at the well in today’s story is struck by the same lesson.

She will indeed live a new life now that she knows–her every action is significant.

Would our lives not also be renewed,

if we were more thoughtful about each action,

if we carried a book around with us and noted each sin?