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Jesus Met The Woman At The Well

January 9th, 2015 by Magdalena Tabor

I was brought up as a Catholic. As a child I attended 8 years of Catholic grammar school, 9 if you count Kindergarten. I can still remember Tommy and Kathleen Henderson, two of jesus met the woman at the wellmany siblings in their large talented family, regularly asked to sing for the class. One of their favorite hymns was “Jesus Met The Woman At The Well”. I could hardly fathom the reality of the lyrics in my innocence at 7 years old, and now retrospectively, realize the importance of the lesson. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the hymn, Jesus tells the woman everything she’s ever done, that she has five husbands…….and is willing to forgive her.
If Jesus, in his infinite mercy forgives, why does the Catholic Church alienate divorced people, demanding in exchange, unreasonable sums of money to declare the marriage annulled? Jesus didn’t ask the woman at the well for anything as long as she was sorry. People make mistakes. People are expected to. That’s how we learn and grow spiritually. It’s the only way possible. The Church wants people to “come back” but refuses communion to anyone who has not been granted an annulment. That’s like inviting someone to your house but not allowing them to eat at your table.
I’m a big fan of Pope Francis. (I sometimes make the mistake of calling him Pope Saint Francis but that may not be too far from the truth.) He is a man of remarkable insight and isn’t afraid to say what he believes is right, even in the face of opposition and criticism. Here is what he had to say on the subject of divorcees as quoted in the Catholic Herald on December 8, 2014:
“In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? This was a pastoral concern: will we allow them to go to Communion? Communion alone is no solution.
“The solution is integration. They have not been excommunicated, true. But they cannot be godfathers to any child being baptised, mass readings are not for divorcees, they cannot give Communion, they cannot teach Sunday school, there are about seven things that they cannot do, I have the list over there. Come on! If I disclose any of this it will seem that they have been excommunicated in fact. Thus, let us open the doors a bit more.”
In October, the Pope will once again ask the Church to change (no cost annulments is but one suggestion) but there are some cardinals staunchly opposed to the reformation concerning the divorced. They refer to the teachings of Jesus who stated no one must divorce. Yes, it’s true these words are in the Bible. What’s also true is Jesus forgave the woman at the well. If she were invited to His house along with a good many other people, wouldn’t she be among the first to join him at His table for supper?

So…………..whadayathink? I have divorce in my background, and after many years have happily come back to the Church, only to be confronted with alienation all over again. If no one can separate us from God, the question remains, may we eat at His table or not?

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3 Responses to “Jesus Met The Woman At The Well”

  1. Chipster Says:

    Magdalena, you are right. I too was brought up Catholic and never could understand how they preach forgiveness and understanding but don’t seem to practice what they preach. It shows itself in so many ways from divorce, to their attitude of women as priests. Oh, it’s ok for the nuns to clean up after the priests and teach the children, but that’s as far as it goes. Homosexuality is a sin and you’ll be condemned to hell……………….WHY???? I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just accept people for who they are; good or bad is all I care about. Animals die and don’t go to heaven; oh really, then maybe I don’t wish to go to a place that forbids dogs. Again, it’s ok for an animal to sacrifice it’s life in the line of duty (police k-9 units, army, etc), or to devote their lives for the benefit of another (ex. for the blind, deaf, epileptic, autistic, etc).
    To many I’m sure I’m an extremist and irrational for my thoughts; my thought? So be it!
    I totally agree with you regarding Pope Francis. He seems to be so down to earth and does speak his mind, even when it seems to go against the church. After I’d heard a few things about him and watched his actions (actions speak louder than words), I called a friend and said ” I know everyone seems to have loved Pope Paul, but this new Pope Francis, “now here’s a Pope I really like”. He believes in forgiveness and appears to believe in including rather than excluding people from the church.
    I never understood how they could preach the way they do and then wonder why their parishioners are leaving the church. Maybe Pope Francis, if given a chance, will bring many more back.

  2. magdalena Says:

    Let’s hope they listen to the good Pope, a man of reason. As for no animals in heaven….does that mean Saint Francis of Assisi is barred from entering with his menagerie? Does he have to keep them tied to the gates outside? I’m sure he’s lobbying for change in that department.

  3. rick Says:

    Man rules not God’s rules.

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