Father Rodney Torbic

April 23 / May 6, 2018

The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

John 4:5-42

Then cometh He to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.(For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast Thou that living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He. And upon this came His disciples, and marvelled that He talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him. In the mean while His disciples prayed Him, saying, Master,ea t.But He said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought Him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. (KJV)

The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

This Gospel is read the fourth Sunday after Pascha each year. Believers know when they go to an Orthodox church on a given Sunday they will hear a specific Gospel. Believers benefit from being sensitive to the Church calendar.

The Church calendar when applied to personal and family life has a positive influence. Families are wise in using the calendar of the Church in planning activities and as a source of discussion for the enrichment of the family.

This particular Gospel focuses on Jesus and the Samaritan woman. The Church wants believers to learn of this meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. This Gospel has meaning each year.

Individuals hearing the Gospel each year are a year older and have more life experience. Priests and deacons preaching from this Gospel are expected to have matured with each passing year. This maturity is to be reflected in the sermons.

Men and women, young and old individuals are present in the church when the Gospel is read. The Gospel will have a different effect on each listener depending on need and level of spiritual maturity.

Wells such as the one in the current Gospel are not in common use today in many parts of the world . Water continues to be a necessity of life and a source of continued interest.

Jesus heightened the womanís interest when He spoke about living water. Jesus spoke about the limitations of the water coming from the well. The living water that Jesus spoke of was of a different quality and benefit.

Jesus spoke about a person never thirsting again. He spoke about everlasting life. When a person draws nourishment from Christ, the distinctiveness and authenticity of the nourishment are experienced. The difference is noticeable.

Serious Christians seek everlasting life. The Holy Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ďIf in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.Ē (I Cor. 15:19)

Christís Resurrection pushes back the horizon. Christís Resurrection redefines the limits of death. Christís Resurrection provides convincing evidence for individuals to seek new and everlasting life in Christ.

The discussion between Jesus and the Samaritan woman turned to the womanís personal life and her marital history. She had five husbands in addition to the person she was living with..

The knowledge Jesus had about the womanís marital history amazed her. She called Jesus a prophet. Jesus captivated the womanís attention. Jesus caused the woman to give great thought about Him.

Jesus took time with this woman. Specific details of her life emerge. Out of all the women in all the centuries this particular woman has a special place in the Holy Gospel. She was blessed to hear about living water and everlasting life.

Individuals today and each day hearing the Holy Gospel are blessed to hear the words of Christ. Individuals today and each day attentive to the Holy Gospel will feel the power and nourishment of the Gospel.

Christ changed the Samaritan womanís life. Each personís life is changed when the person listens and speaks with Christ in prayer. Each person changes when Christís words are taken to heart.

April 23 / May 6, 2018
The Fifth Sunday of Pascha.
The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman.
George the Greatmartyr.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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