Χριστός ανέστη! Αληθώς ανέστη!
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
ХристосВоскрес! Воистину Воскрес!
«Rejoice!» «Peace be unto you!»
Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
On this day, the fifth Sunday of Pascha,
we commemorate the conversation of the Lord
with the Samaritan woman.
When thou camest to obtain perishable water,
O woman, thou didst draw forth living water,
whereby thou didst wash away the stains of thy soul.
Sunday of the Samaritan woman
Anthony (Bloom) Metropolitan of Sourozh
May 13, 1990
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
When the Samaritan woman came back in haste to her town and called all those who lived around her to see Christ, she said: ‘Come! Here is a Man who has told me everything I have done!’ And the people flocked around, and listened to what Christ had to say.
At times we think, how easy it was for this woman to believe and how easy it was for her, from within this shattering experience to turn to others and say: Come! Listen to one who has spoken as no-one else has ever spoken, One Who, without a word of mine has seen into the depth of my heart, into the darkness of my life, has seen and known everything.
But is it not something that can happen to each of us? Christ did not tell her anything very singular; He told her who she was, what her life had been, how God saw her. But this He can tell us every day of our life, and not in a mystical experience, not as it happened to some saints, but in the simplest possible way.
If we turn to the Gospel and read it every day, or if we simply read it once in a while with an openness that we do not always possess, we may think that Christ holds before our eyes a mirror in which we see ourselves as we are: either by rejoicing at what we see, or by contrast, being shaken by the fact that we are so different from what we seem to be, or what we imagine we are.
Christ said to the Samaritan woman: Call your husband! And she said: I have no husband. Christ replied: You have spoken the truth. You have had five husbands, and the one who is your husband now indeed, is not your husband more than anyone else.
Certain spiritual writers have commented on this passage by saying that Christ was saying to her: Yes – you have been wedded to all that your five senses could give you, and you have seen that you find fulfilment, satisfaction in none. And now, what is left to you is your own self, your body, your mind, and this, no more than your five senses can fulfil you, give you that fullness without which you cannot live.
Is this not what Christ says to us when we read the Gospel, when He presents us with what we could be, when He calls us to that greatness which is ours by vocation; the greatness that Paul describes by calling us to reach the fullness of the stature of Christ – to be human as He was, in the same way as Christ is true man, fulfilled by total final, full communion with God.
So let us learn from this woman that we have turned, all of us, to so may ways in which we could receive the message of this world and be filled, and we have all discovered that nothing can fill us, because man is too deep for things material, too deep for things psychological, too vast – only God can fill this vastness and this depth. If we only could realise this, we would be exactly in the position of the woman of Samaria. We need not meet Christ at the well; the well, indeed, is the Gospel, the place from which the water of life may gush – but not a material well, that well is a symbol. The water which we are to drink is different.
And so, let us emulate this woman, let us come to our senses, let us realise that all we have been wedded to was not our fulfilment; and let us then ask ourselves “Who am I, with regard to myself in the dimension of God’s vision?” And then we can go to others and say: I have met someone who has held a mirror before my eyes, and I have seen myself as I am, He has told me about myself: come and see! Come – and listen to Him!.. And others will come, others will listen, and then they will turn to us and say: It is no longer your testimony that makes us believe – we have seen for ourselves, we have heard for ourselves, we know for ourselves. We believe. Amen.
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!
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The Samaritan Woman, having come to the well in faith,
beheld You, the Water of Wisdom from which she drank plentifully
and inherited the Heavenly Kingdom
as one who is blessed forever.
Apolytikion of Photine, the Samaritan Women
All illumined by the Holy Spirit, thou didst drink with great and ardent longing of the waters Christ Saviour gave unto thee; and with the streams of salvation wast thou refreshed, which thou abundantly gavest to those athirst. O Great Martyr and true peer of Apostles, Photine, entreat Christ God to grant great mercy unto us.
Irmos: He Who delivered the Children from the furnace,
Thou art the Water of Life, cried the Samaritan woman unto Christ. Give me to drink, therefore, who always thirst for Thy divine grace, O Word, that I may no longer be held by the drought of ignorance, but may proclaim Thy mighty acts, O Lord Jesus.
Glory…, Tone VI:
The Well-spring of the principle of life, * Jesus, our Savior, came to the well of the Patriarch Jacob, * and sought water from a Samaritan woman * that He might drink thereof. * And when she addressed Him * and said that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, * the wise Creator diverted her by the sweetness of His words, * rather to seek from Him everlasting water, * which, when she received it, * she proclaimed to all, saying: * Come and see the Knower of things hidden, ** God Who is come in the flesh to save mankind.