What the Sunday of the Samaritan teaches us about salvation

Meeting the Lord, becoming reborn for His kingdom

word of spiritual father

Each day, we commemorate a saint. Yet some saints take a special place in our memories. Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker is one; this church keeps a particle of his relics. He is always present for us in the spirit, and we know he intercedes for us when we invoke his name in our prayers for salvation and the success of our undertakings.

The Sunday of the Samaritan is one of these special dates on which we contemplate our meeting with the Lord. No matter how deep the well and how good and cold the water, it could not quell the spiritual angst of the Samaritan woman. She came at the hottest hour of the day when she was least likely to meet anyone else. And she met the Lord. That meeting was not coincidental: Christ knew the measure of shame, embarrassment and regret. She arrived repentant and contrite in the heart - unlike many others who are unashamed, unrepentant, and often even proud of their sins. Nowadays, sin has become the new righteousness for many.

The Samaritan woman embraced Christ, and so did all the people in her neighbourhood. The Samaritans let Christ into their lives, unlike their neighbours, the people of Gadara. It is the same in our world today. Even in families, some will accept Christ, and others will not. But we cannot expect all the people to turn to Christ simultaneously and march along as one to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Everyone's journey will be different. We are members of one church, but each will have to overcome their own set of formidable barriers - pride, cowardice, faint-heartedness, and many other weaknesses of the spirit. Sometimes, there are so many that it seems that nothing can make us pure enough to respond to the calling of God's love. But we should not despair. With God, nothing is impossible.

Narrow is the way to the Kingdom of God. We know it is an arduous ascent, in which each day is like dying on the cross. We commit ourselves to a bitter and exhaustive inner struggle. In the pains of this struggle, our new selves are born, who reject the old life of sin. Perhaps the moment of this rebirth is what likens us to the proverbial Samaritan woman.

Christ is risen!

Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok

Preached on 22.05.2022

May 26, 2022
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