Next Sunday's gospel reading is the story of the woman at the well. It is familiar to many of us. Jesus makes it clear to the woman he meets at the well that he knows of her past even though they have never met before this encounter at the well. I have been thinking about this story a lot and at the same time I have been reading The Underground Church by Robin Meyers. I just finished a chapter on belief and faith. Meyers writes that faith and trust are intertwined and I started thinking about how that fits in with the story of the woman at the well.
She was suspicious of this Jew asking for water at a Samaritan well who began to preach to her about living water. He does not make much progress with her until he tells her he knows she has had five husbands and now lives with a man to whom she is not married. She now believes he is the messiah and runs back to the village to share this good news with the other villagers.
The lady quickly believed after Jesus shared what he knew about her. Is that the same as faith? Is it the same as trust? It seems to me that faith and trust are built over time and they are closely tied to truth. If I have always told you the truth you have faith that I will be trusted to be truthful in the future. If I ever lie to you, trust will quickly dissipate and you will begin to question and sometimes doubt the truthfulness of what I say.
The woman at the well knew that Jesus had told the truth about her and she connected the dots. Jesus miraculously new her history and he told her in so many words that he was the messiah. She trusted that he was who he said he was.
All of this ruminating on truth, trust and faith have made me think about my own relationship with others. Priests need to be trusted and we must be mindful that we are expected to keep that standard of honesty in all that we do.