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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Excerpts from the Homily on the Samaritan Woman by St. John Chrysostom

Today, Christ desires to proclaim the struggles of the Samaritan woman, and we must, with this poor word, sail the sea of her feats. I behold her faith, and I wish to tell of her word of praise, and with us join in the poor and rich, the harlot and apostle, the prodigal and faithful, the many-times-married and those very strong. For she who was defiled by many, was then healed and sanctified by the Only-begotten Word of God. For she who thirsted and desired living water, inherited the heavenly streams of grace...

Therefore, the Samaritan Woman went to draw water, and beheld Jesus as some stranger, a traveler, sitting by the well. She beheld a wearied man, and did not say a word to Him. But He, God, Who beholds all, even before their birth, beheld the treasure of faith, and told her: “Give me something to drink.” The Wellspring of Life, sitting beside the well, did not require drink, but desired to give. “Give me to drink, that I might give the water of incorruption to drink. I thirst for the salvation of men, not that I might drink, but that I may give them water. I imitated my Father, as God said to Abraham: 'Give me your son. Give me Isaac, your beloved and only son, as a burnt sacrifice upon the mountains that I shall show you.' But He did not desire his son, but desired to grant His own Son to the world. For the Son of Thunder, the God-inspired John writes: 'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him may not perish, but have eternal life...'"
“And those who worship God, must worship Him in spirit and truth.” There are no longer whole-burnt offerings, and bulls, and rams. There is no longer circumcision, and the prison of the Sabbath. There is no longer the temple, and the altar, and the sheep gate, and the holy of holies. There is no longer the shadow, and services and false Sabbaths. "For your new moon celebrations and your Sabbaths", as God said through the prophet, "and your great day I cannot bear. Your fast and your rest and your feasts my soul hates. Those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth. They have all passed like a shadow, the ancient things have passed away, behold, all things have become new. Therefore, things have been transformed by grace. There is no longer according to the law one place where I will forgive those whom have gathered to worship God, but into all the world I wish the gifts of salvation to be poured. For their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth." The woman then says to Him: “I know that the Messiah is coming, who is called the Christ, and when he comes he will show us all things.” O harlot, made wise spiritually! O harlot, bearing the divine Scripture on her mouth! Even though the body be baptized into uncleanliness, her soul was cleansed by the reading and meditating on the Scriptures...

“I, who am speaking to you, am he.” O great and paradoxical wonders! He did not reveal Himself to many of the Apostles, but to this harlot He reveals Himself clearly. He did not reveal Himself to Kleopas or the Apostles, but when He had opened their eyes, the Disciples said among themselves, “Did not our hearts burn within us when He opened to us the Scriptures?” He did not reveal Himself to them, but to the woman he said: “I, who am speaking to you, am he.” He lifted up Paul to the Third Heaven, and seized him into Paradise, where he heard unspeakable words, and therefore netted the world, the same He did with the Samaritan Woman. He truly revealed Himself to Paul from heaven, saying: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard to fight against the pricks.” Saul replied, saying: “Who are you, Lord?” He replied: “I am Jesus Christ whom you are persecuting.” He therefore says the same to the Samaritan woman, saying: “I, who am speaking to you, am he.” And the Disciples then came and found Him speaking with the woman. He Who is worshipped by the Angels, converses with a harlot. He Who rules together with the Father eternally, speaks one-on-one with the woman. But she, leaving her pitcher, entered the city. She left her pitcher, because she had been filled with living waters, and she went to her fellow citizens, crying out: “Come, behold a man Who told me everything I had ever done. Could this be the Christ? Come, behold the man.” She did not say: “Come, behold God among men” that she might flee the glory of men, that men might not say of her, “She is insane”...

O apostolic harlot! The harlot became stronger than the Apostles. For the Apostles, after all of the [Divine] Economy had been fulfilled, then became apostolic preachers, while the harlot, before the Passion and the [Divine] Economy, and the Resurrection, evangelized Christ. “Come, behold a man Who told me everything I had ever done. He posted my sins, that I might lead you to Him. That you might behold God Who had come to dwell among men, I proclaim my evil deeds. And let us worship Christ, Who does not disdain sinners. Come, behold a man Who told me everything I had ever done. Could this be the Christ?” Do you see the gratitude of the harlot? Christ told her one sin, of harlotry, and she then hastened to tell the city: “Come, see a man Who told me everything I had ever done.” She preached Him Who beholds all things, and more mightily than the Apostles. For she had not seen the dead being raised, she did not see Lazarus called back from the tomb after four days, she did not see the [gates] of death being shut, she did not see the sea being calmed by His word alone, she did not see Him Who fashioned Adam, refashion the Blind man, as He the Potter did in Eden...
(amateur translation of Greek text from source)

Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
Truly the Lord is risen!
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Item Reviewed: Excerpts from the Homily on the Samaritan Woman by St. John Chrysostom Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Manakis
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