The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 7 months ago

He Thirsts! | Sunday of the Samaritan Woman 2021


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...patristic nectar publications is thrilled to hostits two thousand and twenty one conference, entitled the Mother of God in ourlives, right here in person at St Andrew Church in Riverside, California,and for all who register by video live streaming around the globe. Our theologicalitinerary is superb. We expect for lectures by his Grace Bishop Erina of Londonand 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 organd click on the registration button. Those who register will be able tosee 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 intheir library at P ANDP. We hope to see what the conference and nowthe arena with Father Josiah Treno. The name of the father and of theson and of the Holy Spirit, Christ is risen. You know, brothersand 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 throughthe holy doors and beginning my sermon. The Gospel is so rich, sofull of unbelievable grace, and it is so precious to believers that it's hardto 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'smisguided thirst, Christian thirst. It means...

...a lot to me because my ownlife was with Christ. was was started as a young person along this exactsame theme and experience. When I was a young man, fifteen years old. My parents had presented me to Christ as a baby. They had faithfullytaken me to church my whole life, but I was confused. I wasconfused. I don't think anyone knew it from the outside, but I knewit. I knew it, and one day the man who thirsts for menconfronted me in my life. He stirred me up out of nowhere. I'dcome home from high school. I was in my bedroom a third thirty inthe 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 mywindow now and I was arrested by a sense that God approached me in myroom. I couldn't see him, but I felt him. I felt himand I had an immediate urge to read the Bible, something, to myshame, 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 takenit off the shelf since second grade. I was seven, I think,in second grade and this was taking place at age fifteen, the end ofmy fifteen year. I opened the Bible not knowing where to read. Ilet 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 Inever had. And it fell open, what do you know, to thesermon on the Mount and I looked down and I read one verse. That'sall 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 standingin front of me saying that verse in His living presence and that he hada bow and Arrow and he pulled back that Arrow and he shot it rightinto 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 hearthis Marvelous Gospel text about this woman who was off track, this woman whowas approached out of nowhere, against all reason, and made no sense forChrist to be in Samaria, where he had forbidden his disciples to go,see that you enter no city of the Samaritans, he told them, andthat he immediately does it. He speaks to a woman what you're not supposedto do and she's even shocked by it, and then he takes his divine fingerand 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 theone who thirsts for US approaches US once. There is often a definitive moment,especially if we're off track, and...'s called repentance. He comes andhe taps us, pokes us, directs us, revolutionizes our vision. Butthen 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 alltogether on three one hundred twenty three. Wow. Wow. You know thisexperience that I'm describing, this particularly great love for the account of theSamaritan woman. This has thrilled Christian hearts forever. You know, the Jewscared about Jacobs well, but it wasn't that big a deal until our sayvierwent there with a different kind of water, until he went there to offer awater that wasn't just for the Patriarch's animals and for his workers, buta water. What that was for eternal life. He changed that cistern intoa lifegiving spring. This is the difference between the water of the world andthe water of Christ it rejuvenates itself. It rejuvenates itself. There's all sortsof 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 workfrom the inside, rejuvenating, guiding, refreshing, satisfying, quenching desire andorienting it. It happened with the prophets, especially with the Prophet Elias and theProphet Elisha, in the Old Testament.

Do you remember the story of theProphet Elias and the widow of Zerapath? What did he say to her?The same thing Jesus says to the Samaritan woman this morning. The ProphetElia says to this widow, give me something to drink. She had nothing, she had nothing at all. He said, give me something to drinkand don't worry, don't worry, I am going to call cause your jarsof oil, which are empty as you're preparing to die. I will causeyour jars of oil to perpetually rejuvenate themselves. And that's exactly what happened. Thatwoman 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 tookplace. 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 povertyand she was afraid that everything would be taken from her, and he saidto her the same thing. Don't worry, get some Jars and God will perpetuallyfill 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 wasable 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 havenot 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 forGod that he articulates so beautiful and lie in the psalms like some fortyone when he says my heart thirsts for the living God like a deer pantingby the waters the so my heart thirsts...

...for Thee O God. When shallI 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 bythirst, and he said, who will give me something to drink from thewells of Bethlehem, which was occupied by the enemy, and one of hisvaliant 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 youto satisfy the thirst of the king. These beautiful images, prophets and kingsof the Old Testament revealed to us the heart of God and revealed tous Jesus's disposition today towards her and towards us. This text is just drippingwith 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 ofus, like Christ knew and cared about that woman for tiny and when hereveals 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. Ifwe hide that, if we try to block that, we're keeping ourselves inthe confusion of Fortini and stealing from ourselves the transformation that's possible when the lightof God comes into our mess. No one could speak better about this thanFoltyni. These beautiful things. This is the reason that the church has soloved 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, theSyrian 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 onvirginity, to the foot the Samaritan Woman Photini, and he says something sobeautiful. He says, the one who is tireless became tired in order togive you rest. The one who is tireless became tired in order to giveyou rest. He put himself so low so that he could have occasions tomeet and need from us when he needs nothing. This was the occasion forFotini's life transformation, and so many others throughout Christian history. In the middleof the fourth century we built a magnificent church over this well and we havehad though that beautiful church. By the way, the mosaic floor of thatmid 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 ofinvaders. Persians beat US up badly. Saladine destroyed it, but we haveimmediately restored and rebuilt that church over and over and over again. Is Matterof fact. It continues to be a place of wonders. It was theplace when, just a few years ago, just a few years ago one thousandnine hundred and seventy nine, one...

...of our wonderful young monks became asaint, Father Iluminos. He was a Cyppri it and as a young manwho grew up in Nicosia, a town where some of our parishioners are from, when he was a young man, he went to staff Rovuni, oneof the famous monasteries there, with his brother and he became a monk andthen 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 HolyLand every year. And in one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine, somecrazed, nutty Zionists came and told him that this was a Jewish holy siteand that all Christian imagery and crosses need to be removed because this is alwaysbelonged to the Jews. And he looked at them. He said, that'sfunny because as you're speaking to me, you're standing on a mosaic floor builtby the Christians in the fourth century. It must have been a very longtime ago that you own this property. Anyway, they took an asked andcleaved his hot head in this form of a clock cross and chopped off histhree fingers so he couldn't make the cross, and left him for dead. FatherPhiluminos, the holy new martyr, Philuminos, still overflowing with joy atJacobs 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 ourthirst in the right way. Poor Fautini. She was trying to find satisfaction inher life and she wasn't just some flub. Just imagine if she wasyour mom. Five husbands and she was... with a six guy. Nowyou know we parents, we struggle sometimes, but that's that's pretty tough for childrento 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 somany clues in the scripture that she even though she was misdirected, even thoughher thirst was on the earth and she had to hear what Jesus said atthe end of the Gospel. Lift up your eyes. She had to figurethat 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 somevery important things. She goes, I know that you Jews say that weshould worship in Jerusalem, but our father's worshiped in this mountain, and Jesuswas very clear. Someheritan heresy will not save you. Salvation is from theJews. And then she says, and even in the Prophets, the prophetssay 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 wasa rejection of all prophecy. They only read the Pentitube, they had theirown version, the Samaritan pentitook, and they didn't read the prophets, butshe did. She was paying attention, she was looking. Are you perhapshim? And then what he says to her, those beautiful words. Iwho 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 doingnow? Find a new boyfriend. What can you? I mean, howmany people will be disposed to listen to her? Give her some of thewould you listen to someone who's going to give you religious instruction, who ison her six man? I don't think so. I would think you havea 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 werethinking, but it was all from God. She showed her faith, she showedher 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 ofupright righteous person. They came running with her and then they sat with Christand then he demonstrated that his thirst wasn't just for her, it was forthe entire town. He stayed two days with them, answering their questions,interacting with them nonstop, and then they'd declared what we know now. Weknow for ourselves that this man is the savior of the world, our Savior. What a portion of scripture, what a God we serve. Brothers andsisters, be delighted to be loved like this. Do not be afraid ofthe finger of Christ on your heart. Don't be afraid. It is thepath 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 anequal of the apostles, equal of the apostles. She built the Churchs thiswoman her own experience. She shared even...

...with Emperor Nero. She converted EmperorNero'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 byour choosing to thirst above all things for him, for righteousness, now andforevermore. We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentationoffered to you by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing thespiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interestedin 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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