Today, Christ desires to proclaim the struggles of the Samaritan woman, and we must, with this poor word, sail the sea of her feats.
At the end of the excerpt of Saint John Chrysostom’s homily on the Sunday of the Paralytic, we read: ‘Even now I can show you many who naturally hate having anything to do with women, and avoid conversation with them as impure. Shall we call them chaste; tell me, shall we crown them and proclaim them victors?’
Question: In the Gospel, who is the man in the city bearing a pitcher of water? Why water, and why are the disciples told that they’ll meet him and are to follow him? Who’s the master of the house? Why don’t the Gospel writers mention his name? What is the large upper room where a table’s been laid and in which the dread mystery of the Last Supper takes place?
People who hope in God are truly blessed. God is always a help to them and they have no fear of anything that other people might do to them. They hope in God and do what’s right. They have placed all their hope in Him, and they confess Him with all their heart. He is their boast, their God, and they call upon Him day and night. Their mouths send up praise to God, their lips are sweeter than honeycombs, when they open them to sing to God.
Sumptuous and splendid entertainers give frequent and constant entertainments, alike to display their own wealth, and to show good-will to their acquaintance. So also the grace of the Spirit, affording us a proof of his own power, and displaying much good-will towards the friends of God, sets before us successively and constantly the tables of the martyrs. Lately, for instance, a maiden quite young, and unmarried, the blessed martyr Pelagia, entertained us, with much joy. Today again, this blessed and noble martyr Ignatius has succeeded to her feast. The persons are different: The table is one. The wrestlings are varied: The crown is one. The contests are manifold: The prize is the same.
Faith in God and participation in the Divine Liturgy, especially in the Eucharistic Assembly, constitute two inseparable realities for every lively member of the Church. The true Christian cannot live without the Divine Liturgy. The Upper Rooms of the Mystical Supper and Pentecost, whose continuation are the parish churches, constitute the places of the presence of God and of the distribution of the divine charismas par excellence.
Below are some very characteristic and very important passages from Saint John of Damascus on the subject of Hell: 1. Hell is not God’s punishment, but it is a state of receptivity. It appears that Hell and Paradise as “places” do not exist. There is only God, who is present in all places (omnipresent).
Being banished from Paradise, Adam and Eve immediately began to thirst and hunger, to freeze and shiver, to have labors and sweat, and to endure all those difficulties and griefs that we even now endure. Therefore, they soon felt into what a bitter condition they had descended, and to what a great misfortune they had become subject. Then they realized both their own hardness of heart and their lack of repentance, as well as God’s unutterable condescension and compassion towards them.
Do you see the power of the apostle, or rather of the Lord who acted through him? Do you see what a reward she received- even in this life- for her good works? Because tell me, what did she give to the widows that was as great a thing as they gave her? She gave them food and clothing, but they brought her back to life and helped her to be released from death. Or rather, not them, but our merciful Lord, because of the services she had rendered them.
I have come to ask first of all for some fruit in return for the words lately said out of brotherly love to you. For we do not speak in order that you should hear simply, but in order that you should remember what has been said, and may afford us evidence of this, by your works. Yea, rather, not us, but, God, who knows the secrets of the heart. On this account indeed instruction is so called, in order that even when we are absent, our discourse may instruct your hearts. And be not surprised if, after an interval of ten days only, we have come asking for fruit from the seed sown. For in one day it is possible at once to let the seed fall, and to accomplish the harvest.
“When, then, you see a Christian worshipping the Cross, know that his adoration is not given to the wood, but to Christ Crucified. We might as well worship all wood, as Israel worshipped woods and trees, saying, “Thou art my God, and Thou hast brought me forth.” It is not so with us. We keep in churches and in our houses a remembrance and a representation of our Lord’s sufferings and of those who fought for Him, doing everything for our Lord’s sake.”