2013.06.02  John 約翰福音 4:5-42    sermon by Father Jonah

The Samaritan Woman: Worshiping in Faith, Truth and Love 撒瑪利亞婦人:在信仰、真理與愛中敬拜上帝

(Text of the Gospel for the day follows the sermon.)

http://www.justin.tv/dao_love/b/411477428

今日,我們要一起紀念撒瑪利亞婦人的事蹟。在開始之前,我想要補充說明一些事情。兩週之前,主教來到教會,我們一起研讀了「以沒藥為耶穌安葬的婦女」這段福音。我們談到這些婦女忠心地追隨耶穌,從來不曾背叛他。在四部福音中提到的每一位婦女,遇見耶穌之後都變得更良善,並且追隨耶穌,不曾改變她們的心志。

福音告訴我們,有一位貧困的撒瑪利亞婦人每天都必須走到井邊打水。她從來不曾想過會在井邊遇見耶穌。我想,我們每天重複著辛苦的工作,或許有一天,耶穌基督會以一種獨特而深刻的方式出現在我們面前。耶穌的出現並不是為了回應我們的呼求,而是因為耶穌關愛我們、瞭解我們,他知道何時出現並介入我們的生命,對我們才是最好的。

聖經告訴我們,耶穌走得很累,可見耶穌是真正的人,也有疲倦的時候。當時是第六個時辰(正午),天氣非常炎熱,不適合在戶外行走。這位撒瑪利亞婦人獨自前來井邊打水。為什麼她要在正午時分前來打水,而不像其他婦女一樣一大早就來打水?因為,這位婦女有一段不堪的過去,她覺得非常羞恥。然而,也因為她選擇了正午去井邊打水,才能遇見耶穌基督。

撒瑪利亞婦人不敢和耶穌說話,在那個保守的時代,通常出門在外的婦女不敢直接與男性說話,在公開場合,男女之間談話是非常不好的。耶穌很有禮貌地對她說:「請給我一點水喝。」事實上,她感到非常震驚。從聖經接下來的描述我們可以得知,耶穌的門徒回到耶穌身邊時,發現耶穌竟然與這位婦人交談,他們也同樣感到震驚。

為什麼他們會這麼驚訝呢?第一、她是撒瑪利亞人。猶太人認為撒瑪利亞人是不潔淨的,任何與他們接觸的行為都是禁止的。如果一位拉比喝了這婦人給的水,他也會被視為不潔淨。然而,我們會發現,耶穌接觸了這些被視為「不潔淨」的人、事、物之後,不但沒有受到染汙,還讓一切都變得潔淨而神聖。當時的猶太社會禁止碰觸亡者,耶穌不但碰觸亡者,還讓他們復活。

第二、耶穌是一名優秀的拉比,卻在公眾場合與女性交談,當時的社會禁止這樣的行為。在猶太教的傳統中,這是一件冒犯神的事情,也是嚴格禁止的事情,尤其對於耶穌這樣一位有名望的拉比來說更是如此。這就是為什麼這位撒瑪利亞婦人非常驚訝,並且問耶穌:「恩,你是猶太人嗎?我是撒瑪利亞人,你怎麼會向我要水喝?」耶穌回答她說:「你若知道神的恩賜,和對你說給我水喝的是誰,你必早求他,他也必早給了你活水。」當然,這位婦人並不瞭解耶穌的意思,也不懂什麼是「活水」。在聖經當中,「活水」代表了兩種意義。第一、「活水」是水質優良而清澈的河水。例如:在沙漠地區就有這樣的河水。第二、上帝就是真正的「活水」。在《以賽亞書》和其他先知書中,都曾提出這樣的概念。在《以賽亞書》中,上帝說我的子民、以色列人做了兩件不好的事情。其中一件就是,他們自己掘井找水,卻拒絕了我這真正的活水。在舊約中,上帝多次提到祂是真正的活水。

撒瑪利亞婦人並不瞭解耶穌在說什麼。因此,她很驚訝地問耶穌:「先生,沒有打水的器具,井又深,你從哪裡得活水呢?我們的祖宗雅各將這井留給我們,他自己和兒子並牲畜也都喝這井裡的水,難道你比他還大嗎?」耶穌聽了之後並沒有動怒,他既然決定主動走向這位婦女,就不會退縮。耶穌又對她說:「凡喝這水的還要再渴;人若喝我所賜的水就永遠不渴。我所賜的水要在他裡頭成為泉源,直湧到永生。」

我們應該留意,耶穌基督是真正的生命活水。若取用這活水,他會從我們心中流向我們的家庭、我們的工作,並遍及整個宇宙。每一位基督徒都應該成為活水源頭,也就是耶穌基督的生命。新約中許多處都指出,耶穌是生命之泉,有些地方則提到,聖靈是生命之泉。在啟示錄中,我們可以看到最圓滿的說法。它向我們描述,在天國裡有一條活水之河,它來自於聖父,是聖靈的恩典,飲用了它就不再口渴。

這位婦女聽了耶穌一席話,態度轉為嚴肅而謙卑。她開始向耶穌祈求這活水。她的轉變來自於此時此刻真正觸碰到上帝的恩典,她對耶穌說:「先生,請把這水賜給我,叫我不渴,也不用來這麼遠打水。」耶穌明白,有一些原因阻礙了她汲取活水,因為她沒有過正直的生活。

現在,我們可以清楚看見,「基督宗教」並不侷限於學術領域,只從書本上來認識基督宗教是不夠的。「基督宗教」是一種生活方式,是我們與上帝和所有人建立的關係。耶穌告訴這位婦人:「你去叫你丈夫也來這裡。」婦人說:「我沒有丈夫。」耶穌又說:「你說沒有丈夫是不錯的。你已經有五個丈夫,你現在有的並不是你的丈夫。」對於一個女人來說,要親口說出自己沒有丈夫、沒有家庭是一件悲慘的事情。耶穌碰觸了她心上的傷口。尤其,她在婚姻和感情上非常失敗,我們可以想像,如果一個人曾經有過五任丈夫,現在又和第六任同居,這樣的關係肯定沒有真正的愛。那婦人失去了上帝的恩典,換句話說,她是去了愛人與被愛的能力。在基督宗教裡,我們不談「罪」,我們不像法庭一樣去檢視被告犯了哪一條法律,而是去看靈魂的悲慘之處。在愛的領域中受挫,就是最悲慘的事情。我們每個人都應該用心尋找愛,付出心中的愛,並且守護這份愛,因為這是我們生命的珍寶。我們必須用生命之泉來洗淨這份愛,而耶穌基督就是生命之泉,他讓我們心中的愛源源不絕而充滿活力。否則,我們就會像這位婦女一樣活得悲哀又孤獨,就像行屍走肉一般。

這位婦人謙卑地接受了耶穌基督所說的話,她完全沒有為自己找藉口,而是用敬愛的態度說:「先生,我看出你是先知。」在撒瑪利亞人心中「先知」一詞具有獨特的意義,他們深信先知只有一位,而且熱切期待著這一位先知降臨。可見,她說這句話時,內心充滿了很深的敬意。這位婦人的態度有了很大的轉變,變得謙卑又有禮貌,她似乎已經領受了上帝的寬恕,現在,她想要學習「信仰」的事,只是,她不知道應該從何下手。她問了耶穌一個問題:「猶太人和撒瑪利亞人有什麼不同?」在教會我也常常被問到這樣的問題,例如:天主教徒和東正教徒有什麼不同?天主教徒和新教徒有什麼不同?新教徒和佛教徒有什麼不同?有時候我甚至覺得不耐煩。但是,我知道他們想要瞭解信仰,只是不知道從何問起,所以先提出這樣的問題。這位撒瑪利亞的婦人還問:「我們應該在哪裡祈禱?我們的祖宗在山上祈禱,你們猶太人好像是在耶路撒冷祈禱,是嗎?」值得留意的是,耶穌對於這位單純、沒有受過高等教育又犯了罪的婦女所提出的問題,不但沒有隨便回答,還回答得非常深入。耶穌首先回答:「你們所拜的,你們不知道;我們所拜的,我們知道,因為救恩是從猶太人出來的,猶太人是上帝的選民,是上帝的追隨者。時候將到,如今就是了。那真正拜父的,要用心靈(spirit)和真實(truth)拜他,因為父要這樣的人拜他。」耶穌又繼續說:「神是個靈,所以拜他的必須用心靈和真實拜他。」

針對耶穌所說的「神是個靈」,我想要說明一下。他的意思是,上帝並不固定住在某一個地方。我們無法用感官來捕捉上帝。耶穌先說向聖父祈禱,之後又說上帝是個靈。提到神的時候,他使用了「聖父」和「上帝」兩個名稱,然後又特別說明,上帝並不是世間的某個實際存在的物質。事實上,上帝成為人,我們稱他作上帝的兒子。他教導我們必須向上帝祈禱,並且用心靈和真實來敬拜祂。

有些人誤解了這段話。他們認為:何必上教會呢?我自己家裡就有聖像,我可以在家裡向上帝祈禱,這樣就不會被別人打擾,可以更專注。身為東正教徒,我們必須瞭解,聖經和教會神聖的傳統都教導我們,應該要用心靈來祈禱,它的意思是應該要在聖靈的恩典中祈禱。聖靈在我們心中無聲地祈禱。在詩篇中曾經寫到:「沐浴在祢面容的光中,我們就會看見生命。」此光是什麼樣的光呢?沐浴在聖靈的光中,我們就能看見聖父的光。在聖靈降臨節,我們念誦這樣的祈禱文:「光是聖父,是聖子,是聖靈。」我們應該以真正屬靈的方式來祈禱,而不只是讓自己處在一種靈性的氛圍之中。舉例來說:祈禱時,我們不該自我封閉,刻意營造孤獨的氣氛。我們應該讓自己處在聖靈之中,這才是真正的祈禱。

耶穌提到,除了用「心靈」祈禱,還要用「真實」。許多傳統的東正教徒告訴我,他們不想來教會,因為他們家裡就有聖像,可以在家祈禱。我想,這並不是正確的祈禱方式,也不是東正教徒的祈禱方式。有些人告訴我,他們家中就有聖經,所以不需要來教會。他們已經忘記,正教的信仰除了聖經之外,還包含了神聖的傳統。這就是為什麼用「真實」來祈禱也很重要。我們不能用錯誤或不好的方式向上帝祈禱。

這位撒瑪利亞的婦人受寵若驚,她就像Nicodemus一樣,是一位貧窮的婦女,她並不瞭解耶穌說的話,所以,她又問耶穌:「我知道彌賽亞要來;他來了,必將一切的事都告訴我們。」耶穌回答:「I am. He who talks to you.」在聖經(約翰福音)中,耶穌第一次這樣說。事實上,這段文字的英文和中文翻譯與原文有一些出入。這就是為什麼我剛剛用希臘文念誦其中一段福音。中文的聖經大多把這段話翻譯為:「這和你說話的就是他!」這是錯誤的翻譯。耶穌並不是說:「我就是和你說話的那一個他。」(I am He who talks to you.)而是先說「I am.」,然後才說「The one who is talking to you.」。「I am」是上帝的名字。摩西問上帝:「你是誰?你的名字是什麼?」上帝回答:「I am.」在這一位貧窮又沒有受教育的婦人面前,上帝之子以清晰而強烈的方式顯現了自己。從約翰福音的描述中,我們會發現,耶穌基督第一次說明自己是誰,就是向這一位婦女說的,福音中描述的那一群婦女,也從來沒有背叛過耶穌。

撒瑪利亞的婦人如此震驚,她的內心充滿了喜悅,因為她找到了上帝。她興高采烈地離開,甚至忘了拿回取水的器具。此時的她已經擁有活水。她跑到鎮上,成為第一位傳教士。讓我們想像一下,一位婦女跑到鎮上大聲地宣揚自己發現的真理,確實需要很大的勇氣,尤其對於她這樣被人瞧不起的女人來說更是如此。她在鎮上說了什麼?她說:「你們來看!有一個人將我素來所行的一切事都給我說出來了,莫非這就是基督嗎?」事實上,她不畏懼眾人的眼光,把過去那些羞恥的事情攤在陽光下。然而,耶穌轉化了這些痛苦的記憶和孤獨的折磨。我曾經多次提及,遇見耶穌基督的時候,我們所有壞的經歷都會轉變為美好。我們看似虛度的生命光陰,也會瞬間被賦予新的意義:它們全都變成寶貴的經歷,也成為教導別人的珍貴教材。我充滿罪惡與錯誤的過去,轉眼間都煙消雲散,全部變成淨化的、意義非凡的寶藏。這位婦人成為第一位傳教士,因為,她的內心充滿熱忱,想要與人分享她感受到的真理。這就是真正的信仰,並不是把真理像秘密一樣藏在心中,而是與別人分享。

門徒回來之後,見到耶穌在與撒瑪利亞婦女談話,感到非常驚訝。儘管如此,他們還是拿了食物要給耶穌食用,並說:「拉比,請吃。」耶穌回答:「我有食物吃,是你們不知道的。我的食物就是遵行差我來者的旨意,做成他的工。」對我們每個人而言,「遵行上帝的旨意、完成上帝要我們做的工作」才是餵養靈魂和身體的真正食糧。很多人打電話給我,告訴我:「神父,我想要去教會,」或是,「我很希望你可為我們舉行聖禮儀,並且為我們的房子祝福。但是,我知道你很忙碌,所以,我就打消了這些念頭。」事實上,這樣的作法對神父不是一種體諒,而是一種污辱。因為,我的生活就是要活得像一位神父,並且把上帝的祝福和上帝的話語傳達給每個人。你們不需要跟我說:「神父,我知道你很忙,你還是不要來好了。」因為,我不是一位商人,而是一位神父。

之後,撒瑪利亞人全部都聚集到城裡來,他們一直要求耶穌為他們講道。耶穌留在當地整整兩天並教導他們。因為耶穌的教導,信的人就更多了。他們對婦人說:「現在我們信,不是因為你的話,是我們親自聽見了,知道這真是救世主。」第一個向耶穌告解的人,並不是猶太人,而是異邦人。福音沒有提到耶穌行了奇蹟,但是,教會的傳統告訴我們,這位撒瑪利亞的婦人最後成為一位傳教士和殉道者。她的孩子在她面前被殺害,然後她自己也殉道了。她的名字是Photine(希臘文)或Zheplan(俄羅斯文),它的意義是光明。St. Photine是教會偉大的聖徒。教會承認她的地位就像宗徒一樣。我們一定要提醒自己,如果這位貧窮又曾經充滿罪惡的婦人,都可以成為一名傳道士,那麼,我們每個人一定也可以將耶穌基督的光明帶給身邊的家人、朋友和同事。讓我們用耶穌基督的活水滋養我們心中的愛。願聖三守護我們。阿門。

Today we celebrate the Samaritan woman, but first I want to say something that I did not say two weeks ago, when the bishop was here and we talked about the myrrh-bearing women. These women always followed Jesus and they never betrayed him, so the ladies here can be proud, not so much, but you must be. And in the Four Gospels, whenever a woman meets Jesus Christ she always becomes well and follows Him and never betrays Him.

Now, today we see – though I did not read this part of the Gospel – that He must pass through Samaria. We say “must” not because he was forced to, but because he knew he had to meet someone. This poor Samaritan woman was going almost every day to the well to draw water from the well, but she never thought that she would meet Jesus Christ there. And I was thinking that, if every day we do our own jobs, that one day we will meet Jesus Christ in a very unique and strong way, not because we ask for this, but because he looks for, he wants, he knows everybody and he knows when to interfere, when to show up.

It is important that the Bible says Jesus was tired, which shows that He was a real human being. It was the sixth hour, so it was very hot and not a good time to walk outside, and He stood there. The woman came there alone for the water, alone, why? All the other women came for the water very early in the morning, but this woman had a sad story and she was humiliated. She did not dare to come with the other women because she did not have a good reputation. And going there alone in the heat, she met Jesus Christ.

She did not dare to talk to him because in ancient times a woman did not dare to talk directly to a man outside, that would be very, very bad. But Jesus asked her very politely to give him a drink of water. Actually, she was shocked by this, and we see this same surprise in Jesus’ disciples later when they came back and saw Him talking with the Samaritan woman. There were two bad things. First of all, because she was a Samaritan and they were considered unclean by the Jews and every contact with them was forbidden. So if a rabbi were to receive water from a woman, this would be a kind of contact and he would become unclean. But we see that not only does Jesus not become unclean, but by touching the unclean he cleans and sanctifies everything. It was forbidden to touch the dead; Jesus touched the dead and the dead were resurrected.

And the second thing was that she was a woman, and for a good rabbi it was forbidden to speak with a woman in public. This was a very strict in the Jewish tradition, and especially for a famous rabbi like Jesus Christ, to do this was very offensive. So, she was so surprised, which is why she asked him, “Eh? You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan, and you ask me for water?” She was so shocked by this. But Jesus, because he really came to her, He said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who is talking to you, you would ask me for water, the living water.      Actually this woman did not understand what Jesus was talking about when he said “living water.” This living water has two meanings in the Bible. One is really water from a river, very fresh and good; and in this desert place it was very fresh and good. But the other thing is that God is the real living water. We see this in Isaiah and the prophets. In Isaiah, God says there are two very bad things that my people, Israel, did. They refused me that I am the living water, and they dug to find water by themselves, which is not good. In the Old Testament, in many places God says that He is the living and the real water.

But the Samaritan woman did not know these things and what Jesus Christ’s meaning was in saying this. So she said, very surprised, “Well, sir, who are you? And how will you get water since you have no pot and the well is very deep. So you cannot get water. And who are you? Do think that you are greater than our father Jacob, who made this well for us to drink?” But Jesus is not offended at all; He knows that she is a simple woman. But he came to her, remember this. She does not understand anything. So he continues, “The water that I have, if somebody drinks it will not only fulfill his thirst, but it will be a spring of water from here [gesturing from his stomach], going out, so much water.”

It is very important that Jesus Christ is the real water of life. And when we receive him it is to go out from us, to the universe, to our family, to our job, to everywhere. It is very important that every Christian should become a source of this, the life of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ as He now becomes water. In many places in the New Testament, Jesus is the water of life; in other places, the Holy Spirit is the water of life. In the Revelation we see the fulfillment of this; we see a river in Paradise of living water and it is the grace of the Holy Spirit, coming from the Father, and everybody there is not thirsty any more.

So, the woman now starts to become serious, she starts to understand and she asks him to give her that water so there will no longer be any need for her to come there. It is very important that the woman now becomes humble; she does not say, “Heh, heh. You are joking. Who do you think you are?” She is not proud. She does not judge Jesus Christ to say he is lying. And this is because the Grace of God touches her and now she accepts and asks him to give her this water. She did not understand and say, “I’m so tired, and if I drink this there will no longer be any need to come to the well and get water.” Then, when the woman starts to accept, Jesus wants to give her but there is some reason that she can’t receive Jesus Christ; she cannot receive the water of life if her life is not proper.

Now we can understand that Christianity is not an intellectual matter, as if I can read a book and understand Christianity; this is useless. Christianity is a matter of life and relationships with God and with other people. So, He told her, “Call your husband;” and the answer was very dramatic, “I don’t have a husband.” It was very terrible for a woman to say that she doesn’t have a husband, she doesn’t have a family, I did not meet love. Jesus touched her wound. Jesus very peacefully, not scolding her, says, “Yes, you say the truth because you have had five husbands and the man you live with now is not your legal husband.” Jesus touched this woman, who had failed in love; because if you have lived with five and now six husbands, you cannot love any more. You have lost the gift of God, which is the ability to love and to be loved. In Christianity, it is not a matter of sin, like you break a law, but the tragedy of the soul that fails in love. And I say this because everybody of you must take care and find love and give love and protect this love because this is what you have in this life – of course from the human point of view. You must water this love with the water of life, which is Jesus Christ, so as to remain and to stay alive. Because if you don’t do this you will be like this woman who had to say that she had no husband, which so dramatically means, “I am alone; which means, I am dead.”

And the woman accepts very humbly what Jesus says; she gives no excuses. So in admiration she says, “Lord, now I understand, You are a prophet.” Actually, the Samaritans were expecting only one prophet, so what she said was very strong; it was not just our common idea of a prophet. She wants to ask now – it is not forgiveness that is important, obviously she feels that she is forgiven by God because He treated her so politely – she wants now to learn about faith, but she does not know how to learn. And she asks the type of question many people ask me every day (and sometimes I become crazy), “What is the difference between the Jews and the Samaritans?” She wants to learn the difference. And actually many people now ask what is the difference between the Orthodox and Catholics, or Catholics and Protestants, or Protestants and Buddhists, you know, they don’t know how to ask. But she is saying, “Where should we pray? We pray on this mountain; you pray in Jerusalem, which is correct?” It is so important that Jesus speaks so deeply to the simple, uneducated and sinful woman. He says to her first of all, “You Samaritans, you pray, but you don’t really know. We pray and we know.” This was because the Jews were following; and this is why we say salvation came from the Jews, because the Jews were following as the elected people of God, and now of course we are all the Christians taking the blessings of God. But he told her that a time will come when real worshippers are worshipping the Father – not God in the abstract, but the Father – in truth and in spirit. And He continues, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Actually, I must explain a little bit more what He means in saying that God is Spirit. He means that God is not just in a place; God is something that we cannot touch, we cannot arrest by our senses. And it is very important that first he said to worship the Father and now He says, God is spirit. So now he uses the other name of the Father, God, and He says God is not an entity of this world. But actually God becomes human, the Son of God. And He says we must pray to God and worship God in spirit and truth.

Actually this is very misunderstood by some people. They say, why should I come to the church? I can pray to God in my house, where I can have some icon or something. It is better that I don’t have to be troubled by other people. So I can be more spiritual. But as Orthodox Christians we must understand this in the context of the Bible and the Holy Tradition of the Church: to pray to ‘God in spirit means in the Grace of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that prays inside us with unspeakable voices. In the Psalms we read, “In the light of Your face we will see life.” What is this light that we will see life in? In the light of the Holy Spirit we will see the light of the Father. In the Pentacost we will say, “Light is the Father, light is the Son, light is the Holy Spirit.” So it is very important to understand that we pray in a spiritual way, but this is not a kind of spirituality like, for example, I create a very good atmosphere and I don’t see other people, and I’m alone. But if I am in the Grace of the Holy Spirit, this is the real way of prayer.

And there is a second thing – in truth, because there are many wrong ways of believing and praying. How many people, traditional Orthodox, say to me, “Oh I don’t come to the church. I have icons in my house and I pray in my house, so there is no need to come to the church.” This is a very big mistake. They are not Orthodox. Others, they say to me, “Oh, I have the Bible;” and they forget that Orthodoxy has the Holy Tradition and the Bible. So this is why the truth is very, very important. We cannot pray to God in a wrong way, that is not good.

The woman is so surprised. She is a poor woman like Nicodemus, and she did not understand what Jesus Christ said. So she said to Jesus, “We know that the Messiah will come and He will explain everything.” In front of this woman, for the first time in the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “I am. He who talks to you.” Actually in the Greek language there is a difference, and this is why I read part of the Gospel in Greek. In many English translations and in many of the Chinese translations there is a mistake. He does not say, “I am He who talks to you.” He says, “I am,” which is the name of God. When Moses asks God, “Who are you, what is your name?” God says, “I am.” Then the original text says, “The one who is talking to you.” So, in front of a poor and uneducated woman, the Son of God reveals himself very clearly and very strongly. This why, once more, women should be very happy, because in the Gospel of John it is to a woman that Christ first revealed himself; and the woman, as I say, never betrayed him.

The poor woman was so shocked, so happy that she found the One, that she found God, that she forgets her pots for water and leaving them there – now she has water – she runs to the town and she becomes the first missionary, Again, a woman. She runs in the town and she shouts, which actually takes a lot of courage, especially for a woman like her. What does she say? She says, “I found somebody who told me everything I have done. Is this Christ?” Actually this should be humiliation because the people of the town knew her past. But Jesus changed these painful memories and the torture of being alone and without love. As I say many time, when we meet Jesus Christ, all our bad experiences turn to good things. Our life, which seems to be a wasted life suddenly takes on a new meaning. All these years that seemed wasted take on a new meaning: they become an experience and they become a good way to teach others. Mu sinful past, my failures, that I was nothing in the past, take a big meaning now. And this woman becomes the first missionary because she wants to share the truth with the others at once. This is the real faith, not to keep the truth for herself as a secret, but to share it with others.

Meanwhile, the disciples had come. They were surprised to see Jesus and they said, “Eat.” Jesus answered, “I have another kind of food.” They asked who had brought Him food because they did not see any there. Jesus said, “The real food I have is to do the will of God, who sent me.” You must understand that for each of us this is the real feeding of our soul and our body; to do the will of God will fulfill us. And I want to say something about this, because many people call me to say that they “Father, I wanted to come to the church.” Or “I wanted to call you to beg you come do Liturgy or to bless our houses.” But they say to me, “I know you are busy.” You must understand, this is humiliating for a priest. What I do is to act as a priest, to give the blessings and the word of God, and not to say, “Oh I know you are busy and so not to come.” I’m not a businessman.

But the Samaritans came and they forced him to come to their town. He stayed there for two days teaching them. And they told him that now they knew, not because the woman had told them, now they knew he was the Son of God. So who confessed Him first? Not the Jews, it was Gentiles. The Gospel does not say that he did miracles there, but according to the tradition, the Samaritan woman later became a missionary and a martyr. They killed her children in front of her and then they killed her. Her name was Photine, which means light, bright; in Russian zheplan, and she is a great saint of the Church and the Church considers her to be the equal of one of the Apostles. So remember that if this poor and sinful woman could become a missionary, then each of us has to bring the light of Jesus Christ to our friends, our families and our jobs. And to feed our love with the water that is Jesus Christ. Amen. May the Holy Trinity protect all of us. Amen.

 

So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.  A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.  Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”   11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”   13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”   15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”   16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”   17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”   Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”   19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”   21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”   25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”   26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”   27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”   28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.   31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”   32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”   33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”   34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.