Χριστὸς ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!
St. Nicholai Velimirovich
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink (Jn. 7:37).
This refers to the feast of Tabernacles, which was celebrated in autumn in memory of the building of the Tabernacles in the desert during the Jewish people’s time of wandering there. This feast was marked in the seventh month according to the Jewish calendar, which corresponds to our month of September, and was a time of great festivity (cf. Lev. 23:34; Deut. 16:13–14). It was celebrated on the seventh day, and the last day must have been marked with especial solemnity, since it was called great. If any man thirst, declared the Lord, let him come unto Me, and drink. In waterless Jerusalem it was hard to provide even ordinary, material water to that great crowd. Special water-bearers dragged water for the temple vessels from the spring of Siloam. What inspired the Lord to speak of thirst and water? Perhaps it was the people’s complaint of thirst. Perhaps it was the appearance of the water-bearers, who were pulling the water from Siloam up Mount Moriah where the temple stood. And perhaps it was the circumstance that this was the last day, and therefore the Lord wanted to make use of the time, to remind the people whose hearts had hardened, of spiritual thirst, and to offer them spiritual drink. Once He told the Samaritan woman: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst (Jn. 4:14). And now He is talking about that same living-giving spiritual water—now, when He calls all who thirst to come unto Me and drink.(Jn. 7:38–39). First the Lord determines belief in Him. He promises a reward to those who rightly believe in Him; that is, who believe as the scripture hath said. He does not want people to believe in Him as one of the prophets. All of the prophets prophesied of Him. And He does not want people to consider Him a second Elias or John the Baptist. Both Elias and John were but servants of God and forerunners of Him. And He did not call Himself a servant of God, nor the forerunner of anyone, no matter who it may be. Holy Scripture speaks of Him as the Son of God, born of God the Father in eternity and of the Most Holy Virgin Mary in time. When the Apostle Peter confessed such faith in Him, saying: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Mt. 16:16), the Lord praised his faith. When the elders and scribes wanted to confuse Him with various cunning questions, He Himself confused them and silenced them by citing the Holy Scripture, where it is written that the awaited Messiah is not only the son of David, but also the Son of God (Mt. 22:41–66). He wants people to believe in Him also as the highest divine revelation, in which all the other revelations are united, from beginning to end. Outside of Him faith is in vain, hope is in vain, and love is impossible. That the right faith in Him is salvific is something of which the one who rightly believes will be convinced. How can one be convinced? Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Living water here means the Holy Spirit, as the Evangelist himself explains: He spake here of the Spirit. Thus, the Holy Spirit comes to abide in the one who believes in the Son of God, and spiritual, life-bearing rivers shall flow from his belly. But why from his belly? Because the body of a saint in this life is the habitation of the Holy Spirit, as the apostle says: What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Cor. 6:19). This is what the Apostle Paul said to the faithful, upon whom the Holy Spirit had already descended through their faith in the Son of God. In a narrower sense, the belly is understood to be the human heart, as the concentration of life both physical and spiritual. The same Apostle Paul says: God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts (Gal. 4:6).Thus, from the heart as from the main lamp of the Holy Spirit pour spiritual, life-bearing streams throughout the entire person, both bodily and spiritually. The consequence of this will be that the body of a person with faith will become an instrument of the human spirit, and the human spirit will become an instrument of the Holy Spirit. The whole person will be purified, illumined, confirmed, and made deathless by the streams of God the Spirit, so that all of his thoughts, all his love, and all his activities will be aimed at eternal life. The streams of his life will pour into eternity, and the streams of eternity will pour into his life.
Troparion of the Mid-Pentecost — Tone 8
In the middle of the Feast, O Savior, / Fill my thirsting soul with the waters of godliness, as You did cry to all: / If anyone thirst let him come to me and drink! / O Christ God, Fountain of our life, glory to You!