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“Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down at the well. It was about noon.”

I suspect that many of us are tired from the journey of this past week. My present reflections on the Word of God for this Sunday are so very different now than when I first began my homily preparation on Monday.

Jesus was tired from his journey. Though Jesus is the second person of the Blessed Trinity, he is also fully human, that divine mystery of the Incarnation, of God taking on human flesh and blood so that we might be divinized, that we might share in God’s life.

But this journey of divinization, of becoming saints is not easy. Following Jesus as a faithful disciple is hard work. Like the disciples found out and we discover in our life of faith as Catholics, the journey is not always what we expect.

Like the Samaritan woman who came to the well at noon, at the heat of the day, we too come with our water jars, empty and heavy. 

You may be anxious or worried. You may be feeling fearful or frustrated not knowing what is best to do. You may be scrambling to figure out how you can both work and have your children at home because they closed all the schools in the state. You may feel angry and helpless, not knowing what to do next.

It is at a time such as this that we must turn to the Lord who, as the psalmist says, “Is our rock of refuge, our shelter, our stronghold in whom we trust.”

Let us take a moment to sit and rest as we watch this video, and conceive of another well where we can find living water.

Though we cannot receive Jesus in Holy Communion this morning, we can be with him, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration. 

We are so blessed to have the St. Joseph Chapel as a place of prayer in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament every hour of every day of the week. We can go to the St. Joseph Chapel with our empty water jar and find living water. Please take advantage of this during these difficult times.

We’re disinfecting the adoration chapel every weekday at noon and weekends at 5 PM.

If in the future we can no longer gather even for adoration, we will do so virtually on our parish website.

It is so difficult for us as Catholics in the United States to conceive of the reality of not being able to celebrate Holy Eucharist and come together for Mass. Yet the reality that we face—of the possibility of spreading the coronavirus because we gather for Eucharist—impels us on behalf of the common good, to do so.

Unfortunately some folks have interpreted this as the Church in Western Washington capitulating to the government which is seeking to take away our freedom to live and practice our faith in the public sphere.

If this is your thinking, I would ask that you pray about the possibility that this may rather be a tremendous act of charity and of sacrifice on behalf of our brothers and sisters throughout Western Washington. Taking steps to not spread the coronavirus because we do not gather for Mass today is a way of being the good Samaritan, an act of humble charity.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to read Fr. Lou’s reflections on ways to spiritually navigate through these difficult times. Fr. Lou wrote:

“For myself, this has given me some time for reflection about the history of the Church, especially in mission lands… There are areas within the world where the Eucharist is very rarely able to be celebrated because of a lack of priests, and this is not only true today, but also historically. We have the opportunity then, to look at those places and to learn from their experience about the power of the grace that each of us received at our baptism — to be conformed to Christ for the salvation of the world.”

You can read his full reflections and suggestions here, on our parish app, our Facebook and our Instagram pages.

Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down at the well. It is there that he encounters the Samaritan woman and asks her, “Give me a drink.”

Certainly he was tired and thirsty from his journey, but his true thirst was for the salvation of her soul.

Jesus thirsts for us and for the whole world. Jesus thirsts for you to come to him in prayer and adoration. Jesus longs to quench the deepest thirsts of your soul.

Let us listen once again to these sisters and brothers of ours as they invite us, through their experience, to come to the well and encounter Jesus in adoration.

Please be assured of the daily prayers of Fr. Lou and I as we celebrate Mass holding you all close in prayer. We long for the day when we will all be able to gather once again around the altar of our Lord Jesus. May this time deepen our hunger and thirst for the true bread of life and the true living water, Jesus the wellspring of our salvation. 

We also urge you to follow the best health protocols. Wash your hands. Stay home with you’re sick. Allow social distancing if at all possible. Use common sense and have common courtesy toward one another.

Let us pray together this prayer to our Lady of Seattle, Undoer of Knots.

Holy Mary, we come before you as spiritual children in great need, seeking your intercession, and asking that your mantle of love surround us to console, protect, and lead us to your son Jesus.

We entrust all of God’s family especially the church in Western Washington, into your immaculate hands. With your son Jesus’ gentle power you can undo any knot in our church, and in the lives of believers who entrust themselves to your care.

Today I especially entrust to you all those affected by the Coronavirus, and I ask that – through your intercession, and that of St. James, our guardian angels, and the faithful in our archdiocese – we may be free from every spiritual and temporal ill, and be safely led to encounter your son’s merciful, sacred heart.

Our Lady of Seattle, Undoer of Knots, pray for us!