Samaritans and Jews didn’t get along. They were religious enemies with roots in a common faith and history, but with local differences in belief that caused bitter divisions and arguments. One of the divisions was this: Jews felt the proper place to worship God was in the temple in Jerusalem, while the Samaritans claimed Mount Gerizim as the holy place of God.
The Samaritan woman who engaged Jesus in conversation was aware of their differences and pointed them out to him, but Jesus was not interested in religious debate. His goal was not teaching people to hold fast to traditions, to be earnest in keeping all the laws, or to spend time arguing over details of geography or practice. For him, these were unimportant details. Jesus’ desire was to get to know people, to see into their hearts, to help them see truth, and to invite them to see God in each other. He said what really mattered was for people to be full of living water-so full that they seemed to be “gushing” with the spirit. Jesus wanted to make disciples who were fully engaged and excited about the ministry to which he was calling them: loving God and loving their neighbours.
God, fill me with living water, so that I am gushing with love for you and my neighbours. Amen. — PDH