This woman just got served by Jesus. Unfortunately for her she was served in the sense of her sinful past being laid to bare. But to her credit, she rolls with it pretty well all considered. He provoked her so he could propose to her for something better than the five marriages she had.
The woman said to him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything.” Jesus said to her, “I am he,the one who is speaking with you.”
At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, but still no one said, “What are you looking for?” or “Why are you talking with her?” The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?” (John 4:19-29).
Sir, I can see that you are a prophet— A turning point in anyone’s conversion is recognizing Jesus has some valid authority. As a Samaritan she had an imperfect formation by jewish standards in what to hope for but she does see something big is going since a prophet is sent typically for a big picture. Her perspective is broadening.
…this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem— This woman is centering on spiritual mysteries that seem to have no discernible purpose and doing that based on her own cultural lens. Jesus responds with a coming agenda, a kingdom, that would not be bound to her culture or his and does indeed have a discernible purpose. Jesus acknowledges the grounding that comes in salvation history through the Jews but points to important points
I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed— She shows some irony that speaks to our good reference points that open us to the message about Jesus. The Samaritan woman lays out the equivalent of saying “God, if you are there, show me that you are there and illuminate to me what really matters.”
Jesus works with such humility because it is against his nature not to. A God that wants freedom for us does this truly by granting free will. This also means that the proposal for her to follow Jesus, or anyone today, has an inevitable illumination of the divine life of the Holy Trinity.
The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God.10 Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world. In adoring the Holy Trinity, life-giving, consubstantial, and indivisible, the Church’s faith also professes the distinction of persons. When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him (Catechism of the Catholic Church para. 689).
The work of the Holy Spirit is to point to Jesus as the visible member of the God head or Divinity. Working as “Breath” (the word for spirit and wind is the same in Hebrew which influenced believers in the 1st century in thought even those who were Greek-speaking), there is a relational context that the believer is invited to (John 17:21). This intent of breathing the Breath of God has to have consequence on earth in a new agenda.
will worship the Father in Spirit and truth- Jesus is contrasting her presumption that the new faith would have to be anchored by a singular geographical location. For Jesus to say this had foundation from prior scripture. “From the rising of the sun to its setting, my name is great among the nations;Incense offerings are made to my name everywhere, and a pure offering; For my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 1:11).
the Father seeks such people to worship him- These people are sensitized to the joint mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The spirit spoken of is a reminder of the Holy Spirit being the Breath behind all spiritual winds and we know that the truth is Jesus (John 14:6).
God is Spirit- Exactly. “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life who proceeds from the Father and the Son and with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified (Nicene Creed, 325).
those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth – For those who know the call after conversion to be true worshippers they are introduced into partaking of this divine nature, are continually sensitized to true worship and by nature have an unmistakable urge to worship the Father in Christ. Simply put, people like that are swept up in love with their Father.
I who speak to you am he— This is the diving line. She can go backward from Jesus but not in ignorance. Or she could go forward and be changed in perceptions and lifestyle with a cull conversion. She has been proposed to and not imposed upon. No man has truly claimed her but she can be claimed by Jesus. And so she is. And so we can be in the moments of turning around. From there we can turn forward to the world and have something important to say about this mysterious Other.
“Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?”— Good evangelism sometimes is knowing the answer to the right question. She had her answer. Each day one chooses to walk in friendship with Jesus is an opportunity to be whole. Are all the dynamics of conversion meant to be figured out? No, but if we open our eyes Jesus will meet us in the common wells of our lives. The subsequent transformation compels us to a proclamation.
The origin and purpose of mission. The Lord’s missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: “The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit.”341 The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love (Catechism of the Catholic Church para. 850).