The woman at the well in this Sunday’s Gospel seems to be going about her daily business, with no apparent recognition that she has been ensnared in the grasp of sin. On the other hand, maybe she has some clue. It was customary for women in that region to draw water in the cool of the morning, but she is there in the heat of the noon day sun. Was she avoiding the gossip of other women coming to the same well? Regardless, we have no indication from her initial conversation with Jesus that she is in a particularly contrite mood. Sin can blind us and this can even happen to good people. Any personal conversion story will lay this out clearly.
We can also learn something from the encounter of the townspeople with Jesus. They invite Him to stay with them and after two days they are able to declare to the woman: we no longer believe because of your word, for we have heard for ourselves... In many cases, we too may have been led to the Lord by someone else’s words. We can all name those influential people who have planted seeds of faith in our lives. At some point, however, our faith must rest securely on our own personal experience of the Lord.