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He knows each one of us intimately…

No one is perfect. This might seem like the most obvious statement in the world, but it’s important to remember. We live in a time when people’s thoughts and actions are more widely recorded and open to scrutiny than ever before. A small mistake can cost someone their reputation or livelihood. An opinion expressed, particularly online, can invite a world of insults. It appears to be easier than ever to take the moral high ground, and to dismiss a person entirely based on one thing we know about them.

This is not the way Jesus treated people, and it is not how he sees us. The Samaritan woman Jesus meets is all too aware of what the Jews think of her. She is nervous when approached by Jesus at the well. But he sees beyond the label to the person, the woman with a life story and a context of her own. He engages her in intellectual conversation, listens to her, and wins her over.

Jesus could tell the woman everything about her life, and he knows each one of us just as intimately. He knows our past and our faults, our ‘cracks’. That is why he is able to speak to us, if we resolve to try and listen. It is also an important lesson in how we should treat others.

Tríona Doherty