The Conversion of the Woman at the Well

This woman, once Christ had instructed her, became an apostle...

The entirety of her surrender to our Lord is shown from the fact that she left lying there, almost as if forgotten, that for which she had come to the well the water and the water-pot. So great was her absorption. Hence it is said, The woman left her water-pot and went away into the city, went away to announce the wonderful works of Christ. She cared no longer for the bodily comforts in view of the usefulness of the better thing, following in this example of the Apostles of whom it is said that leaving their nets they followed the Lord (Mk 1:18). 

The water-pot stands for fashionable desire, by means of which people draw up pleasures from those depths of darkness signified by the well, that is, from practices which are of the earth, earthly. Those who abandon such desires for the sake of God are like the woman who left her water-pot. 

She invites them to look upon Christ: Come, and see a man- she did not straight away say that they should give themselves to Christ, for that might have been an occasion for blasphemy, but, to begin with, she told them things about Christ which were believable and open to observation. She told them he was a man. Nor did she say Believe, but come and see, for she knew that if they, too, tasted of that well, looking that is upon our Lord, they, too, would feel all she had felt. And she follows the example of a true preacher in that she attracts people not to herself but to Christ. 

She gives them a hint that Christ is God when she says, A man who has told me all things whatsoever I have done, that is to say, how many husbands she has had. She is not ashamed to bring up things that make for her own confusion, because the soul, once it is lighted up with the divine fire, in no way looks to earthly values and standards, cares neither for its own glory nor its shame, but only for that flame which holds and consumes it.

- St. Thomas Aquinas