“In the midst of this Feast, O Savior, give Thou my thirsty soul to drink of the waters of true worship; for Thou didst call out to all, saying: Whosoever is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Wherefore, O Christ our God, Fountain of life, glory to Thee.”
Dear believers in Christ resurrection,
Christ is Risen.
The Holy Mother Orthodox Church starts directing our mind and eyes to Pentecost. The Gospel of this Sunday speaks about “Living Water”, and we know that we are thirsty for God. Having been given the Holy Spirit at the time of our baptism, we are given water “of true worship”. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church is the source of True Worship which is Orthodoxy. We receive from the Church, the Bride of Christ this “Living Water”. The story of the Samaritan woman is a story whose thirst was satisfied when she came to discover her sinful life and repented. “The Lord talked with her anyway, read her heart, revealed her secrets and gave her the “Living Water”—the grace of the Holy Spirit that leads to eternal life and flows to all humanity—to drink.”
Fr. Philip LeMasters writes: “Photini’s encounter with the Lord was truly transformative. He did not merely give her ideas about religion. He gave her the “Living Water” of the Holy Spirit which made her a participant in eternal life by grace. That is how she found the strength to reorient her life so profoundly to the Kingdom and to bear powerful witness for the Savior.”
We receive the Holy Spirit in baptism and when we are chrismated/confirmed. For this reason, the parents of the child to be baptized must be married in the Orthodox Church, live a Christian Orthodox life daily by attending the Liturgy, are members of St. George and support their home parish of St. George. Baptism must happen within the 40 days after birth. No child can be brought to the church who is not baptized (although today we do it backwards). The God-Parents cannot be the grandparents, but a committed Orthodox Christian in good standing with the church. A practicing Orthodox. The parents of the child must be the one who arrange for the baptism. The parents must be living the Orthodox Faith every day.
We who are members of the Church of Antioch take pride that the Christians “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” The Church of Antioch played an important role in the history of the Church by providing many saints and contributed to the early councils. We must be proud to be Antiochian Greek Orthodox. Greek because the Fathers of the early Church spoke and wrote in Greek.
If we experience challenges in our marriages, contact your Priest so we can meet and create a better marriage for you. These meetings are not a place for complains, but to foster dialogue and listening skills to improve our marriages.
Sunday School graduation will be Sunday June 6th at the end of Liturgy.
Fr. Philip continues writing: “Her transformation shows that, regardless of our sins, there is hope for us all in the mercy of Christ. Like Photini, we must humbly acknowledge our sins in Confession as we turn away from them in true repentance. We must not allow the perverse form of pride called shame to keep us from honestly opening our souls to the Lord for healing. Likewise, we must not view anyone as a lost cause before God due to our perception of his or her sins. We do not know other people’s hearts, and we each confess ourselves to be the chief of sinners in preparation to receive Communion. Christ warned the self-righteous religious leaders who rejected Him, “Tax-collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you.” (Matt. 21:31)
St. Photini, the Samaritan woman is an example to all of us on what happens when we encounter Christ. It brings us change and the “Living Water”.
In the crucified Christ,
~Pastor’s Message of May 30, 2021~