Here is the Wisdom for the Ides of March.
4:5 So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
4:6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
4:7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
4:8 (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)
4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)
4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
4:11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?
4:12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?”
4:13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
4:14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
4:15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
4:16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.”
4:17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’;
4:18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”
4:19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet.
4:20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”
4:21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
4:22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
4:23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.
4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
4:25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.”
4:26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
4:27 Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?”
4:28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people,
4:29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?”
4:30 They left the city and were on their way to him.
4:31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
4:32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
4:33 So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?”
4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.
4:35 Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.
4:36 The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.
4:37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’
4:38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
4:39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.”
4:40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.
4:41 And many more believed because of his word.
4:42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
The healer Rachel Naomi Reden makes a critical distinction in these pages: “When you help,” she writes, “you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole.” We cannot fix the world, but we can serve those within it, as generosity and service flow ever more naturally as we walk the Path.
Vulnerability—literally, the ability to be wounded—is a kind of self-giving in love that makes possible coming to a new place, a new state of existence. Vulnerability is not about masochism, or a desire to draw attention to oneself or to be pitied. Vulnerability is a capacity so to trust that one runs the risk of wounds. It does not make wounds desirable, nor does it make them less painful. One is willing to run the risk of wounds because of something more important: the communion of love that engenders trust, that makes the fresh start of forgiveness possible.
Source: “Jesus and His Wounds” from The Ministry of Reconciliation
Listen to me now: stand together in peace. Look after one another, and show concern for another’s needs. By eating too much, some of you have brought sickness on your bodies and ruined them, while the limbs of others, who have nothing to eat, waste away for lack of food.… And you who have become old in spirit: you are already dying. Your soft living and constant doubts have brought you to this point. You are enervated by the affairs of daily life; you have fallen into lethargy; you are like old men who have given up hope of regaining strength and expect nothing but to fall asleep… But don’t give up hope. Awake and repent, and you will all be quite new again.
Source: The Early Christians
The Opening of Eyes
That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed.
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.
It is the vision of far off things
It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.