Day 3: Denunciation II
Prayer (Attributed to Gregory of Nazianzus): O you who are beyond all things, how could we call you by any other name? What song could be sung for you? No word can express you. What Spirit can perceive you? No intelligence can comprehend you. You alone are inexpressible; all that is said has come from you. You alone are unknowable; all that is thought has come from you. All creatures proclaim you, those who speak and those who are dumb. Every one desires you, everyone sighs and aspires after you. All that exists prays to you, and every being that can contemplate your universe raises to you a silent hymn. Have pity on us, you who are beyond all things. How could we call you by any other name? Amen.
Jesus asks the Samaritan woman about her husband (John 4:17) and their dialogue shifts from the water to the woman’s situation. Jesus knows she has had five husbands and that the man she has now is not her husband. However, he does not insist on a moral interpretation of her answer and seems to want to lead her beyond. As a result, the woman’s attitude towards Jesus changes. Thus the obstacles of cultural and religious differences fade and give space to something much more important: an encounter in trust. Jesus’ behaviour raises questions that challenge the attitudes that denigrate and marginalize women; and questions about the differences which we allow to stand in the way of the unity we seek and for which we pray.