Christ is Risen,

Quite often water is used in an allegorical sense in Scripture. We may appreciate its usage as we consider the areas surrounding the Holy Land are quite arid. We also understand water is the essential element for life.

In the recent Gospels, our Lord employs the use of water in His miracles with the Samaritan woman – she was converted and boldly proclaimed Christ; and with the blind man – the Lord directed him to wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam. As Saint Nikolai teaches us, our souls seek refreshment, though this is not merely a draught of water but from the very Source, our Lord and Saviour. The diving hymnody of the Church reaffirms this in the hymn of Mid-Pentecost: “O Lord give Thou my thirsty soul to drink of the water of piety.”: and again in the Hymn for St. Photini, the Samaritan Woman: “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.”

O Lord, refresh us also with the Streams of Salvation!

St. Nikolai Velimirovich concerning the refreshment of our parched soul

There is no need to prove that bodily nourishment cannot satisfy the soul of man, nor can bodily drink quench its thirst. But even all this spirit of life, that shines through all created things, giving them life and harmony, is incapable of feeding and refreshing the soul.

The body directly receives food that is in essentials identical to the body. The body is of the earth, and food for the body is of the earth. This is why the body feels at home, among its own, in the world. But the soul suffers; it is crucified and suffers; it is disgusted and protests at having to receive food indirectly, and this a food not identical to itself. The soul therefore feels itself, in this world, to be in a foreign country, among strangers.

That the soul is immortal, and that it, in its essence, belongs to the immortal world, is proved by the fact that, in this earthly world, it feels itself a discontented traveller in a foreign land, and that nothing in the world can fully feed and refresh it. And even were the soul to be able to pour the whole universe into itself like a glass of water, its thirst would not only not become less but would, of a certainty, become greater. For then there would not remain in it one single illusory hope that it would, beyond the next hill, light on an unsuspected source of water.

+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Homilies: Commentary on the Gospel Readings for Great Feasts and Sundays Throughout the Year, Volume 1, “24. The Gospel on the Giver of Living Water and the Samaritan Woman John 4:5-42”

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