The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 1 year ago

He Thirsts! | Sunday of the Samaritan Woman 2021

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...patristic nectar publications is thrilled to host its two thousand and twenty one conference, entitled the Mother of God in our lives, right here in person at St Andrew Church in Riverside, California, and for all who register by video live streaming around the globe. Our theological itinerary is superb. We expect for lectures by his Grace Bishop Erina of London and Western Europe and additional lectures by Father Chad Hatfield, Father John Parker, Father Colinique Burger and myself. To Register, simply go to patristic nectar dot org and click on the registration button. Those who register will be able to see each of the lectures by live stream over the course of the weekend, participate in the Q and a, as well as received the edited lectures in their library at P ANDP. We hope to see what the conference and now the arena with Father Josiah Treno. The name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, Christ is risen. You know, brothers and sisters, this Sunday every year I go through the same spiritual experience. I'm listening to the Gospel and I have to hold myself back from jumping through the holy doors and beginning my sermon. The Gospel is so rich, so full of unbelievable grace, and it is so precious to believers that it's hard to contain oneself. You know this incredible account between our Lord and Sat Puttini, the Samaritan woman, and the theme of Thirst, God's thirst, men's misguided thirst, Christian thirst. It means...

...a lot to me because my own life was with Christ. was was started as a young person along this exact same theme and experience. When I was a young man, fifteen years old. My parents had presented me to Christ as a baby. They had faithfully taken me to church my whole life, but I was confused. I was confused. I don't think anyone knew it from the outside, but I knew it. I knew it, and one day the man who thirsts for men confronted me in my life. He stirred me up out of nowhere. I'd come home from high school. I was in my bedroom a third thirty in the afternoon. I was no doubt contemplating how I could avoid doing my homework. Is a beautiful sunny day. I can see the sun coming through my window now and I was arrested by a sense that God approached me in my room. I couldn't see him, but I felt him. I felt him and I had an immediate urge to read the Bible, something, to my shame, I had never done. In fact, I had a Bible. It had been given to me in the second grade from my Sunday school teacher, God bless her. I had never read it. I had never taken it off the shelf since second grade. I was seven, I think, in second grade and this was taking place at age fifteen, the end of my fifteen year. I opened the Bible not knowing where to read. I let it fall open in my hand.

It didn't have a crease in it, it had no place where I had left off reading before, because I never had. And it fell open, what do you know, to the sermon on the Mount and I looked down and I read one verse. That's all I could take. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. I felt as though the Lord Jesus was standing in front of me saying that verse in His living presence and that he had a bow and Arrow and he pulled back that Arrow and he shot it right into my own heart of shame. I felt penetrated, I felt completely undone. I threw the Bible on my bed and I ran out of my room. I have read the Bible every day of my life since that day. Since that day. So when I hear this Gospel Text, when I hear this Marvelous Gospel text about this woman who was off track, this woman who was approached out of nowhere, against all reason, and made no sense for Christ to be in Samaria, where he had forbidden his disciples to go, see that you enter no city of the Samaritans, he told them, and that he immediately does it. He speaks to a woman what you're not supposed to do and she's even shocked by it, and then he takes his divine finger and presses it right into the womb of her shame and changes her life. I'm moved by it. I'm sure many of you have similar stories, younger, older recently, because it doesn't stop. It's not as though the one who thirsts for US approaches US once. There is often a definitive moment, especially if we're off track, and...

...it's called repentance. He comes and he taps us, pokes us, directs us, revolutionizes our vision. But then he continues to thirst for us and he will continue to thirst for us, to be with us in an ever deepening communion forever. Saying, Gregory, that Paoloshin says, that's the definition of eternity, perpetual, unceasing, deeper union with the God who loves us. That's eternity. Let's say it all together on three one hundred twenty three. Wow. Wow. You know this experience that I'm describing, this particularly great love for the account of the Samaritan woman. This has thrilled Christian hearts forever. You know, the Jews cared about Jacobs well, but it wasn't that big a deal until our sayvier went there with a different kind of water, until he went there to offer a water that wasn't just for the Patriarch's animals and for his workers, but a water. What that was for eternal life. He changed that cistern into a lifegiving spring. This is the difference between the water of the world and the water of Christ it rejuvenates itself. It rejuvenates itself. There's all sorts of beautiful anticipatory types in the Old Testament of this miracle that is performed today, the miracle when the Holy Spirit comes into someone's life and begins to work from the inside, rejuvenating, guiding, refreshing, satisfying, quenching desire and orienting it. It happened with the prophets, especially with the Prophet Elias and the Prophet Elisha, in the Old Testament.

Do you remember the story of the Prophet Elias and the widow of Zerapath? What did he say to her? The same thing Jesus says to the Samaritan woman this morning. The Prophet Elia says to this widow, give me something to drink. She had nothing, she had nothing at all. He said, give me something to drink and don't worry, don't worry, I am going to call cause your jars of oil, which are empty as you're preparing to die. I will cause your jars of oil to perpetually rejuvenate themselves. And that's exactly what happened. That woman responded to the call of the Prophet, gave him his water, satisfied the thirst of the Prophet for her, and then the miracle of multiplication took place. His spiritual son, the Prophet Elisha did the same thing. Prophet Elisha, and he was dealing not with the widow of Zera Fath, but with a widow of one of his spiritual sons who had fallen into poverty and she was afraid that everything would be taken from her, and he said to her the same thing. Don't worry, get some Jars and God will perpetually fill them for you, and get as many jars as you possibly can. Fill your entire house with empty jars. Don't think I mean a little, I mean everyone you can grab. God filled everyone up and she was able to sell the oil, live on it take care of her son. These are beautiful images of the miracle that takes place today. We also have not just prophetic images in the Old Testament of this, we have kingly images. Think of the thirst of King David. I don't just mean his thirst for God that he articulates so beautiful and lie in the psalms like some forty one when he says my heart thirsts for the living God like a deer panting by the waters the so my heart thirsts...

...for Thee O God. When shall I come and see the Living God? I'm not talking about just that, but think of when he was in battle and he was overcome, overcome by thirst, and he said, who will give me something to drink from the wells of Bethlehem, which was occupied by the enemy, and one of his valiant soldiers said, I'm going to go myself single handedly through the enemy, I'm going to draw water from that well, I'm going to bring it to you to satisfy the thirst of the king. These beautiful images, prophets and kings of the Old Testament revealed to us the heart of God and revealed to us Jesus's disposition today towards her and towards us. This text is just dripping with God's ambitions for us, his absolute laser sharp focus on our lives. This is the God we serve. He knows and cares about each one of us, like Christ knew and cared about that woman for tiny and when he reveals shame, which absolutely, one hundred percent must happened, dear once, there is no progress in the spiritual life without allowing our deepest, darkest secrets, the ugliest part of ourselves, to be touched directly by Christ. If we hide that, if we try to block that, we're keeping ourselves in the confusion of Fortini and stealing from ourselves the transformation that's possible when the light of God comes into our mess. No one could speak better about this than Foltyni. These beautiful things. This is the reason that the church has so loved Jacobs well, ever since we built...

...churches immediately upon that holy site. I was reading a beautiful hymn by one of the greatest theologians of the church, whose icon adorns the southwest corner of the Church Sat f from, the Syrian Great Fourth Century Saint. He wrote incredible theology almost completely in poetry, poetry and Hymnity, and he dedicated his seventeen him in his collection hymns on virginity, to the foot the Samaritan Woman Photini, and he says something so beautiful. He says, the one who is tireless became tired in order to give you rest. The one who is tireless became tired in order to give you rest. He put himself so low so that he could have occasions to meet and need from us when he needs nothing. This was the occasion for Fotini's life transformation, and so many others throughout Christian history. In the middle of the fourth century we built a magnificent church over this well and we have had though that beautiful church. By the way, the mosaic floor of that mid fourth century church is still there. It's a little bit out of Nabilis, out of the city of Nabilis in the West Bank. It's still there. The actual structures of the church have been torn down by a number of invaders. Persians beat US up badly. Saladine destroyed it, but we have immediately restored and rebuilt that church over and over and over again. Is Matter of fact. It continues to be a place of wonders. It was the place when, just a few years ago, just a few years ago one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine, one...

...of our wonderful young monks became a saint, Father Iluminos. He was a Cyppri it and as a young man who grew up in Nicosia, a town where some of our parishioners are from, when he was a young man, he went to staff Rovuni, one of the famous monasteries there, with his brother and he became a monk and then he felt God calling him to go and become the guardian of Jacobs well, and he went and took care of this beautiful, beautiful, magnificent church, which is a pilgrim site for all the Christians who come to the Holy Land every year. And in one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine, some crazed, nutty Zionists came and told him that this was a Jewish holy site and that all Christian imagery and crosses need to be removed because this is always belonged to the Jews. And he looked at them. He said, that's funny because as you're speaking to me, you're standing on a mosaic floor built by the Christians in the fourth century. It must have been a very long time ago that you own this property. Anyway, they took an asked and cleaved his hot head in this form of a clock cross and chopped off his three fingers so he couldn't make the cross, and left him for dead. Father Philuminos, the holy new martyr, Philuminos, still overflowing with joy at Jacobs well. I'll tell you, brothers and sisters, God desires you. He's thirsting for us, and we ourselves have to allow him to direct our thirst in the right way. Poor Fautini. She was trying to find satisfaction in her life and she wasn't just some flub. Just imagine if she was your mom. Five husbands and she was...

...living with a six guy. Now you know we parents, we struggle sometimes, but that's that's pretty tough for children to take. Five husbands and living with a six guy. Like mom, stop, enough enough, don't you know? This isn't for you. Try something else, try something else. She was struggling, but there's so many clues in the scripture that she even though she was misdirected, even though her thirst was on the earth and she had to hear what Jesus said at the end of the Gospel. Lift up your eyes. She had to figure that out and took her a long time. But she also look at this. She she was a student of the scriptures. She said to Christ some very important things. She goes, I know that you Jews say that we should worship in Jerusalem, but our father's worshiped in this mountain, and Jesus was very clear. Someheritan heresy will not save you. Salvation is from the Jews. And then she says, and even in the Prophets, the prophets say that the Messiah will comment at that time. He'll reveal everything to us. You know why that's so amazing? The essence of the Samaritan heresy was a rejection of all prophecy. They only read the Pentitube, they had their own version, the Samaritan pentitook, and they didn't read the prophets, but she did. She was paying attention, she was looking. Are you perhaps him? And then what he says to her, those beautiful words. I who speak to you, am he? That was all she had to hear. I'm sure that the water bucket just went flying. I'm out of here. She runs back home. Everybody,...

...listen, listen. What's she doing now? Find a new boyfriend. What can you? I mean, how many people will be disposed to listen to her? Give her some of the would you listen to someone who's going to give you religious instruction, who is on her six man? I don't think so. I would think you have a little religious problem. Let's solve that first and then come talk to us. Right. That's probably what people were thinking. That's probably what people were thinking, but it was all from God. She showed her faith, she showed her wonder by being so honest. He told me everything I did. She wasn't hiding it, she wasn't trying to present herself as some sort of upright righteous person. They came running with her and then they sat with Christ and then he demonstrated that his thirst wasn't just for her, it was for the entire town. He stayed two days with them, answering their questions, interacting with them nonstop, and then they'd declared what we know now. We know for ourselves that this man is the savior of the world, our Savior. What a portion of scripture, what a God we serve. Brothers and sisters, be delighted to be loved like this. Do not be afraid of the finger of Christ on your heart. Don't be afraid. It is the path to glory. This woman converted her sons. She had two sons. They both became Christians. She had five sisters. They all became Christians. They didn't. She's become Christians. They became missionaries. She's commemorated as an equal of the apostles, equal of the apostles. She built the Churchs this woman her own experience. She shared even...

...with Emperor Nero. She converted Emperor Nero's daughter and ended her life beautifully in martyrdom. We are so rich, we are so rich. May the God who thirst for us be praised by our choosing to thirst above all things for him, for righteousness, now and forevermore. We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in other available titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dot patristic nectar dot org.

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