by Sr. Rose Marie Tresp, RSM

Exodus 17:3-7 | Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 | John 4:5-42

“Therefore, the Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” ~John 4:9-10

The Synod on the Amazon was heavily criticized by some as a threat to the purity of the Church, assuming that the only and preferred model of church is Eurocentric. Criticisms were leveled at the symbols used at the opening ceremony. In particular, the statue of a naked pregnant painted indigenous woman became the focal point of criticism. The statue was variously interpreted as idolatrous or as Our Lady of the Amazon or as the representation of the sacredness of nature.


Jesus, breaking custom and tradition, asks for water from the Samaritan woman. He is willing to receive the most basic symbol of life from a woman rejected by the Jews. Pope Francis and the participants at the Synod were Christlike in their willingness to receive wisdom and counsel from non-Eurocentric cultures. Unfortunately, this is threatening to some who see wisdom for the Church only coming from traditional sources.

For reflection: 

  • Take some time to learn about the results of the Synod on the Amazon.
  • Learn from the some of the indigenous people in your area of the country.


This reflection was taken from Fasting Towards Freedom: Reflections for Lent 2020, by by Sr. Rose Marie Tresp, RSM and Michael Vazquez. The booklet is available for purchase as an electronic download here.  

For more resources for Lent 2020, visit our Lent 2020 page by clicking here.

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