This was the title of the third annual Social Justice Symposium sponsored by the Cooper Institute on Saturday, March 11. The afternoon began with “environmental” entertainment featuring a popular PEI singer-songwriter Teresa Doyle who sang a couple of her compositions regarding climate change including “The World Is In A Pickle” and “The New Titanic” which, among other things, suggests that: “A Ship Of Fools We Are, sitting on our deck chairs, we push the climate to the brink… and think the boat will never sink…”
In this Gospel passage, we discover Jesus in one of the unique encounters recorded in the Gospels. We find him in conversation with a woman, the longest conversation with either man or woman of which we have a record. He was on his way to Galilee from Jerusalem. Jews and Samaritans were divided by religious differences, and Jews usually avoided going through Samaria, a country lying between Judea and Galilee. Rather, they made a detour. Jesus was audacious in transgressing the current customs and daring to speak in public to a woman, a Samaritan at that, and one who was looked upon as being a sinner.
Associate Danielle Lizotte lives in Massachussetts with her husband and daughter.
There have been a series of synchronistic events in my life where I’ve heard or read that the Zulu people of South Africa have a traditional greeting that goes something like this. One person says “Sikhona”, which means “I am here to be seen”, while the reply is “Sawubona”, meaning “I see you”. We did this recently at a church service and it felt like a lot more work than a nod, or hello, or even “Peace be with you”, also more intimate. How often do we greet one another without really “seeing” them? While reading this Sunday’s readings, this experience came to me again as I read the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:5-42). This is among my favorite New Testament stories, Jesus breaking all conventions and offering some previously reviled person recognition and hope. She is female, a member of a tribe in a long-standing feud with the Jews. I’ve heard it surmised that because she is fetching water at the hottest time of the day, instead of the morning or dusk, that she may have been an outcast even among the Samaritans. She is NOT someone a good male Jew should be asking for water, but Jesus says, “I see you.” Not only that, but he offers her healing and hope.