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Third Sunday of Lent

Associate Danielle Lizotte

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.

It has been devastating lately to see how some of my fellow Americans and their chosen political leaders have been treating the immigrant and non-white population, dehumanizing them for ruining “their” country.  No, they don’t “see” these people at all.  The Bible has a lot of instruction on what to do about refugees and strangers, and none of it is telling them to go back to where they came from.  Many of these fellow Americans profess to be followers of Jesus, but nothing about shooting someone dead while screaming “Go back to your country!” can be supported by the words and actions of Jesus.  Where I live outside Boston, we have had KKK recruitment literature distributed to our front doors and bogus pamphlets telling undocumented immigrants to leave town because ICE was coming to deport them.  This is supposed to be the “liberal” part of the country.

I’ve been thinking too about St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, a settler in a new land as well.  She “saw” the women who arrived from New France, where they had few prospects, and helped them to become people of value and worth.  She “saw” the aboriginal population and found them just as worthy of God’s saving grace and inclusion into the new society.  When I feel overwhelmed by what I’m witnessing in the world today, it helps me to be with my friends in faith, even if it is just to see your emails or Facebook posts.  I don’t get to participate as much as I would like, but I SEE YOU!  And I love and gain inspiration from how you are all the faces of Jesus and Marguerite in the world. Thank you so much!

Love, Danielle

 

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