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Sunday of the Blind Man. There is no salvation without good character. There is no salvation without courage.

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Sunday of the Blind Man

There is no salvation without good character.

There is no salvation without courage.

John 9:1-38

 

 

http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/miracle-sunday-of-the-blind-man-sixth-sunday-of-pascha-04.jpg

 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Brothers and sisters, during this Paschal season the Gospels have taught about enlightenment and the process of salvation. Today’s Gospel is another example, and it speaks of something indispensible that we must supply, the same thing that was present in Saint Thomas and the Myrrhbearing women: Character.

 

You cannot be saved without good character. You need it to follow the commandments. It has to be in the heart.

This blind man was a good man. We can see his character very vividly when the Jews questioned him about his healing. We observe a man who really knew nothing about Christ except his name, who on the greatest day of his life was being accosted, questioned and attacked with hostility, even from his own parents. He showed great purity and honesty and courage and not a little bit of humor as well. We need to have character if we’re going to be saved, and this man shows the kind of character we must have.

 

This man’s character overcame the obstacles newly presented in his life, because of the disingenuous and aggressive questioning of the Pharisees and Sadducees after his healing. They are much like the “press”, the mob of people who surrounded the house and made access to Christ difficult for the Paralytic. The paralytic was lowered through a roof because of the press, and symbolically this means that the world makes it difficult to be a true believer. The world tries to impede us, and this is exactly what’s happening here.

The Pharisees, because of their jealousy, blindness, anger and hatefulness, were trying to find something to condemn Christ because he was merciful to one of their own. Remember, the Pharisees controlled many things. If you were put out of the synagogue, then you were basically blacklisted. It would mean bad things for your well-being, your business contacts, and everything else. The Pharisees had made it be known that they were extorting from their own people obedience to them, and they had forbidden that anyone could say that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah), otherwise they would be put out of the synagogue.

 

Let’s trace what happened to this man, and let’s learn how we can be like him.

 

Jesus passed by. Those words are not by happenstance. Jesus passed by.

 

In another place He also was on a journey, and he referred to Himself as a Samaritan. No one could help the man who was by the side of the road, bleeding and half dead, not the Levite, nor the priest. No one could help.

So Jesus, not by happenstance, passed by. This passing by indicates His incarnation, His coming to earth to heal us.

And we are all like the man by the side of the road, left half dead. We are all like the man who is born without eyes, blind, or like the paralytic, or like any many examples. Each of those persons is us.
And it is not by accident that Jesus passed by this man who was born blind. Isn’t it remarkable how much is contained in the Scriptures? Just a couple of words: Jesus passed by. And it indicates the whole economy of our salvation: The incarnation of the Son of God.

Jesus became incarnate so that he would live the life that we must live to know God and make us capable of living that life. He became incarnate so that He would address our every need, whether it is that we are blind or halt or lying by the road half dead because of our sins. Whatever our need is, He comes to help us with it.

And here is how He does it: He made a moist lump of clay from his spittle and the dust of the ground. And he did something that we know in our tradition to be true. He made eyes for the man. He didn’t just smear clay over him. He made little balls and put them in empty sockets. The man was born without eyes. Our Services, our Tradition makes this very clear.

Now, as an aside, let us say something about this man who was not only blind, but born without eyes. It is one thing perhaps to help someone that has some problem with his eyes to see, such as Paul who had a problem with blindness on the road to Damascus. How can you make a man to see who does not even have eyes? Only God can do this. No wonder the people were saying: ‘He looks like him’, because they remembered someone who didn’t have eyes.

 

What does this mean for us? There’s nothing impossible with God. If he can make a man see who doesn’t even have eyes, don’t you think that he can help you in the things that you need in your life for which you see no solution?

Many times this story has given me much comfort because there are a lot of things that I just don’t see the solution to; I have no idea how it’s going to get done; I have no idea how things are going to get better. But God knows.  A doctor would think, in order to help a man see, first there must at least be eyes to work on. The Lord doesn’t even need eyes. There is nothing that the Lord lacks. And there is nothing that the Lord cannot give. So let us believe this.

Now, by the way, you don’t just say, okay, I will just snap my fingers, now I believe this, that’s right, I have perfect faith now. No, faith is grown, and we see in this story that the blind man’s faith grew. And how did it happen? The Lord makes his eyes and tells him go to the Pool Siloam. This plainly prefigures baptism. With baptism comes healing.

 

The man was not healed until after he washed. If he had not gone and washed, he would not have been healed. Remember the story of Naaman, the Syrian? And he ordered some great thing for the prophet to tell him to do and. And all he said was just go to the Jordan and dip yourself seven times. He wanted something great, something big and he wouldn’t do it until his servant basically said, you’ve got to do it. And then he was healed of his leprosy. The same thing happened with this man ; he stumbled over to the pool of Siloam, washed and came away seeing, because the waters of baptism cleanse and heal. They would not have cleansed and healed if he did not approach them.

And his character is what caused him to the healing waters – his guilelessness and obedience. We’ll see much more strong character traits in just a moment. So now the whole town is all abuzz, and the Pharisees are angry because they’re so full of hatred, and one of their own is healed, and all they can think of is keeping control. And they’re going to keep control by continuing what has been done from time immemorial where a group of people tries to terrorize another group because they have some power. And in this case, the power was to cast out of the synagogue, to ostracize.

So they’re asking the man: Who did this? He says, well, I don’t really know. He knew he was Jesus and that was all. He said, 'he anointed my eyes, he told me to go wash and now I come away seeing.'
And they still couldn’t believe. So they called his parents. Look what his parents did: How shameful! His parents admitted that he was their son, begrudgingly, but then they immediately passed to him: ‘he is of age; let him explain’. May God not have it happen that any one of us, if our children were healed in such a way, that we would act like this. We should say: To God be glory.

Of course he was healed by God. But they were afraid that they would be put out of the synagogue. So then they called the man and questioned him again, and here is where his character shines forth.

 

Brothers and sisters it takes courage to be a Christian. You can’t be saved without courage. It won’t happen.

 

It takes courage to approach your own sins. It takes courage to live the Christian life in the face of others who want you to live a different kind of life. The world, and worldly Christians tell you to go  ahead and be Christian but just don’t be too crazy about it, just make sure that you allow other people to have their space, keep an “open mind” about morality.

The only thing our world is not tolerant about is if someone actually believes something is right and wrong. Otherwise other than that, they tolerate everything. This is not the Christian way, which absolutely, unequivocally knows and proclaims that there is right and there is wrong. There is a way of life and there is a way of death. There is a God and there is a devil. And there is a right way to live and a wrong way to live. There are right opinions to have and wrong opinions to have. And none of this ever changes.

So this man being questioned by the Pharisees, they ask him again, what happened to you? What do they say? He says, why do you ask? He knew that they had no interest whatsoever in knowing what happened. They were trying to find something, grasping at some straw so that they could in some way implicate Jesus, and dishonestly said “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner. “

And what did the man say? We must understand the way the Scripture says it. He says, whether he be a sinner or not, I know not. That doesn’t mean he didn’t know who Jesus was, or didn’t know he was a sinner. It’s like saying he was dismissing them, since to even consider Jesus too be a sinner, given the evidence of his actions is ridiculous. A moment later, he tells them: “We know that God does not hear sinners. “This is where the man started to really have, as it were, his eyes opened, his spiritual eyes opened. Seeing the depravity of the Pharisees made him much more see the goodness of Christ.

And then he said something that is very humorous. Not in the funny, ha-ha way but certainly this man had a gift for ironic phrases.  He says, “I told you already and you did not hear; would you hear it again? Will you also be His disciples? “

Can you imagine how angry the Pharisees got at that point? Can you imagine the courage to say such a thing? It was automatic that he was out after that. Automatic. And he knew it. So those clinging to power say a few other things: “Thou was altogether born in sins” and other things, and they cast him out.

 

How many of us would have acted like that? Now, put yourself in his position. He’s been a blind man and a beggar for all his life. This is his opportunity for the first time to be part of society. Because when you are blind and when you are lame and when you have some disease, you’re basically pushed away from society in that culture.

This was his opportunity now to be part of society, to no longer be so hungry and alone. And yet, the Pharisees were asking him something that he could not do. He could not lie about what happened, because his heart told him it was God who healed him. And so he was courageous.

Question yourself. Would you do the same thing?

 

This is how salvation is won, brothers and sisters: Christ passes by; he comes to each one of us, and we are baptized, and then the living begins. The victorious living. And doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. Sometimes it’s very difficult, and there are going to be people that are oppressing us.

This is also true in business today. Businesses try so hard to get you to conform to their sort of false religion. Don’t fool yourself. They all have a false religion. And they want you to sort of have opinions and sort of fit in with everyone else – usually this amounts to being silent about immorality.

This is not who we are. We should be like the blind man, who gained his sight and was courageous in speaking the truth.

This is what this Gospel teaches: You can’t be saved without courage. God will instill in you the ability, but if you don’t have good character, then you’re lost. God can help you with your sins. God can help you with strengthening your will, but God will not give you desire. You must have desire. He will help you. He will strengthen you and in so going from one good thing to the next, you will be filled with more zeal.

 

God will not give you desire. God will not give you good character. You must provide these works.

 

This is in another place: The one who had one talent and buried it in the earth. What did he say to the Lord? Well, you know, you reap where you do not sow and you gather where you have not strewn. And the Lord said, yes, you are right, exactly. And what that means is that the Lord will give you grace, but you must become good. He’s not going to become good for you. You must become good. God gives you all the tools, all the ability.

Examine your character and the places in your character that are deficient. Improve. If you tend to be dishonest, this in many ways is much worse than some carnal sin. God can help you with sins. But as for defects of character – you must spend a lot of energy on these. And if a person does not really desire to be saved, even though they say they want to be saved, even though they say they’re Orthodox; then they will not be.

Our inner disposition is shown by the way we live and by the way we think and by the way we speak and by the priorities we have. God will not give you these priorities. God will give you the ability to fulfill these priorities. And this we see in the blind man. God did not make this man good. God doesn’t make anybody good. God helps us to become good. And this man was good and courageous and because of that, he found God. Let us be like him. Amen.

 

Transcribed by the handmaiden of God Helen.

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

Mailing Address

Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070

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This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-06_2008-06-01+the-blind-man.html

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-06_2008-06-01+the-blind-man.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-06_2008-06-01+the-blind-man.mp3

 

 

 

 

New sermons, commentaries, etc  are posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

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Homily:Sunday of the Blind Man. 2010. Audio.

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Ikons of the Sunday of the Blind Man

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If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-06_2010-05-09+the-blind-man.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-06_2010-05-09+the-blind-man.mp3


RSS feed of Sunday and some weekday homiliesRSS feed of Sunday and some weekday homilies:http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics

Archive of Audio and text homilies:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

All homilies on the Sunday of the Blind man  are at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/index.html#The_Blind_Man

 

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) 2001

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) It takes character to be able to see. 2002

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) We must do what we do not understand in order to gain understanding. 2003

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) It really is about character too.Video of this homily: Part 1 Part 2

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) 2010

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Homilies about the Sunday of the Blind Man.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Ikons of the Sunday of the Blind Man

All these homilies are in audio, with one in video. Recently an angel has volunteered to start transcibing homilies, so God willing, more will appear in text form.

All these links are also at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/index.html#The_Blind_Man

 

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) 2001

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) It takes character to be able to see. 2002

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) We must do what we do not understand in order to gain understanding. 2003

6th Sunday of Pascha (mp3 format) It really is about character too.Video of this homily: Part 1 Part 2

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Questions about the Sunday of the Blind Man

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Ten Questions and answers here: http://www.orthodox.net/questions/blind_man_1.html

Ikon for the Sunday of the Blind Man,sixth Sunday of Pascha

A few of the questions:

Why was the man born blind? The scripture mentions two possibilities.

What is the tradition concerning the "eyes" of the man born blind?

Many of Christ's healings recounted in the Scriptures consists of TWO healings, sometimes in a different order. What are these, in general terms? Describe these two healings of the blind man, in the order they occurred. Give at least one other example of a "double healing".

Why were the Jews upset about the healing of the blind man? What were the stated reasons, and what were the real reasons?

The healing of the blind man shows in a striking way that God gradually illumines a soul. This event was recorded for our benefit, and together with many other events and recountings, helps us to see the diverse manner in which Christ heals and illumines a soul, and also serves as an instruction to us, who are also being gradually illumined, more or less according to our reaction to God's grace.

The illumination of the soul has been a constant theme since Pascha. Describe at lease three other examples of this most important action of the grace of God, which the church has recently contemplated. What may these recountings teach us?

The trip of the blind man to the pool of Siloam cannot be overlooked, as it is very instructive to us. What is this trip a model for? Describe the trip, and don't be so laconic! We must understand the difficulty of this trip, if we are to benefit from it.

Jesus said to His disciples, after they asked him about the blind man: "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." ((John 9:4)

What is the meaning?

Ten Questions and answers here: http://www.orthodox.net/questions/blind_man_1.html

 

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The Samaritan woman teaches us what we MUST do to receive the Living Water. Audio Homily 2010.

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

SYNOPSIS:The story of the woman at the well, the Samaritan woman, Photini, must be understood in a historical, theological, mystical and practical context. She said "the well is deep", and this story can be discussed from many perspectives, many of which are, alas, unintelligible to most because of their low loevel of theological knowledge and interest. The most important one for us is what we must do do get the living water, the Holy Spirit. Saint Photini shows us several things that we MUST be if we are to be saved – theologically literate, having thirst for righteousness, humility, and zeal. Her conversation with the Lord and subsequent actions show all these things

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Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. Fifth Sunday Of Pascha. The conversation of Christ with the soul

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Samaritan woman at the well

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-05_2001+the-samaritan-woman.html

Samaritan Woman at the well

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-05_2001+the-samaritan-woman.html

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The Samaritan Woman – Questions and answers

Friday, April 30th, 2010

 

 http://www.orthodox.net/questions/samaritan_woman_1.html

Who was the Samaritan woman? Tell about her life after meeting Jesus?

Who were the Samaritans? Describe their religion and relationship with the Jews.

What time did Jesus meet the Samaritan woman at the well? Is there anything odd about this time? Why do you think she drew water at time?

What 2 revolutionary things did Jesus do by even talking to the Samaritan woman? The proud Pharisees would have judged Him on at least two accounts.

 

Water plays a big role in the story of the Samaritan woman. Cite at least 5 other places where water is used to describe or point to our salvation.

In this case, Christ said to her:

 

"Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: {14} But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:13-14)

What is the meaning of "water" in this context?

 

 

There was a significant prophesy concerning salvation which Jesus made when He spoke to the Samaritan woman. What was it? Approximate when it was understood by the entire church to be fulfilled (or being fulfilled)?

 

The conversation between Christ and the Samaritan woman mystically is actually another conversation between what 2 parties?

 

Compare and contrast the reaction of the Samaritan woman and townspeople and the townspeople in the region of the Gadarenes when Jesus visited them.

http://www.orthodox.net/questions/samaritan_woman_1.html

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The Samaritan Woman – 5th Sunday of Pascha – John 4:5-42. New Homily.

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


The Samaritan Woman – 5th Sunday of Pascha – John 4:5-42

This well is very deep.

How to acquire the Holy Spirit.

The Lord puts Himself in our path.

Knowledge comes to us by degrees, a little bit at a time.

 

 

The Samaritan woman at the well. http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/samaiitan-woman-at-the-well.jpg

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

Brothers and sisters, as the Samaritan woman said, “This well is very deep.” And there is much in the story; we could speak for days and not exhaust the story of the conversion of Saint Photini[1], Equal to the Apostles, the Samaritan Woman.

As in all scripture, it is good to see the part that is the most important. The story here is about how to obtain the Holy Spirit. And the Samaritan Woman did obtain the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is referred to sometimes as water, sometimes as fire. Because as water, it washes clean. As fire, it warms, and it burns away sin. In this case, the Lord referred to the Holy Spirit as Living Water.

And he met the Samaritan Woman where she was, going to the well when no one else was going at about noon, the sixth hour, because she had had five husbands and now was living with a man who was not her husband. So for her to go get water at the normal time, would subject her to ridicule. So she would sneak to the well at noon to get water. And the Lord knew this because the Lord knows all things.

 

The Lord puts Himself in our path.

 

We continually see in the Gospels where the Lord puts Himself in the path of someone who needs His help. The woman whose son had just died, the man left by the road half dead, the woman with an issue of blood. He made Himself to be present for them in their time of need.



This woman didn’t even know she had a need. She was getting by day-to-day and life was not easy for her. Anyone who goes to get water in the heat of the day obviously has some problems. Although she didn’t know what she needed, the Lord knew, and so He spoke to her on her level.

First He did something rather amazing for a Jew. The Jews considered the Samaritans to be like dogs and were very racist about them. And yet He spoke to her and said, “Give me to drink.”  - an amazing thing! She noted that, that: “The Jews don’t have anything to do with us, and You’re asking me to drink.” That was the beginning, so that they could have a conversation, so that she could learn about the Living Water.

 
Knowledge comes to us by degrees, a little bit at a time.

 

And of course I told you, the whole period of Pascha is speaking about enlightenment and how it occurs. Now, it’s different for different people.

 

For the myrrh-bearing women, they went to the tomb thinking they were going to anoint a dead man, not even knowing how the stone would be rolled away. But, because of their great love, they came.



Thomas couldn’t believe, but then he couldn’t go away either. He had too much love, too much yearning in his heart. So he received that which he didn’t even know that he desired, because he believed the one whom he though might be the Christ was dead.



The paralytic first was healed; then he knew that God was with him, and he knew that the cause of his illness had been his sins and that he was not to sin anymore or else a worse thing would befall him.

In every case, the common thread is that man, when presented with God, must react. We must listen. We must change because God is not some static thing, some fact which we can believe. God is life. So when we are presented with God, we must change.

 

And certainly in the case of the Samaritan Woman, the proper reaction to God is perhaps illustrated more than even all the rest.

 

Because this woman who was a sinner, who was basically an outcast in a society of outcasts, this woman, when she started to speak with Jesus and He told her bit by bit about the truth in words that she could partially understand, she had her view that was not correct. There are theological questions here that are interesting to look at, but they are a side issue. Suffice it to say that this woman like us had misconceptions; We have many misunderstandings, things we don’t know; and we don’t know that we don’t know them. But the Lord enlightened her.

Enlightenment does not complete until we change.

 

So the woman knew some things of the truth. He offered this Living Water, this tantalizing opportunity to not thirst again. He told her something of true worship, and then he told her to go call her husband. And she was ashamed; our services speak of it. She said, “I don’t have a husband.” That’s the truth, but not the whole truth, because she was ashamed to say what her true life circumstances were.

 

But the Lord gently told her, “Yes, you’ve had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband, and this you spoke truly.” So He praised her for being truthful and gently, kind of ignored that she wasn’t completely truthful. He didn’t legally upbraid her for it.



And what did she do? She said, “I perceive you are a prophet.” I am sure at this moment there was something in her heart that felt hope because she was living in a way she didn’t want to live, but she didn’t know how to get out of it. She was trapped. She lived a sinful life for many years, but she did believe she knew something of the law. She was a careful person; she asked intelligent questions, according to her level of understanding. She needed healing. And then when the Lord told her of her life, her heart must have felt this flicker of hope and warmth and maybe she could get relief.



Now, most people would not feel that. They instead would be angry that their sins had been shown. The Jews were like that, the Pharisees and Sadducees did not like when the Lord showed their hypocrisy. The people of the Gadarenes had been raising pigs unlawfully. Then the Lord removed this source of sin from them. And they knew that they had been sinning. What did they do? They were afraid but also angry, and they told the Lord to leave because they didn’t want their sins to be exposed.

The Samaritan Woman had her sin exposed. She was glad. In fact, she was so glad that she felt such relief, such hope in her heart, that she, the one who, as our services say, the Renowned One, went into the city and told everyone, “Here is a man who told me everything I did.”

 

Now, let’s be realistic here. If she tells someone that, they are going to say, Well, what did He tell you? So she would have to tell people of her sins in order to show that this man had told the truth about her. What nobility of soul! To be presented with your sins and to not be angry, but instead to be glad.



This is an amazing, amazing story. There aren’t many like it in the scriptures. This is how we must be. Yes, we know something of God. Okay. We know he’s Trinity. We know he’s born of a virgin. We know Jesus Christ is God and man. We know all these things. But do we live them? Have we become them?

The Lord said at one point to her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is who sayeth unto thee, give me to drink, thou would ask, and I would give you Living Water.” Do we know the gift of God? It is not possible to know the gift of God without becoming like God, without changing as God reveals himself to us. This is what the story tells us.

If we want to have the Holy Spirit abiding in us — and the Holy Spirit is life; without the Holy Spirit there is no life — To have the Holy Spirit abide in us, we must, when God reveals himself to us, change. Not slink back, not be angry, not hide ourselves from God, and not cause ourselves to be distracted by this and that in life. But we must be like the Samaritan Woman. This is what the story tells us. This is the way of life.

 

Because salvation is not just forgiveness.

 

How in the world did that idea come about? A person forgiven seventy times seven is still a sinner and still bears wounds of sin and still is incomplete and hurting.

Salvation is to become changed, to become holy. To become one who used to have five husbands and lives with someone who is not their husband, to someone who becomes equal to the apostles. And full of life and purpose. This is what salvation is. Is the changing of the soul, to be perfected. But it is only possible with our participation.

 

God reveals Himself to us; otherwise, we would not know him. We know this. This is a fundamental dogma of our faith. But as He reveals himself to us, if we do not reveal ourselves to Him, He will stop revealing Himself. And we’ll only know facts about him. But we won’t know about life. And we won’t have the water springing up in us, the Holy Spirit.

 

It is only possible to have the Holy Spirit if, when God reveals himself, we change. This is Christianity.

 

It is not just belief. It is not just our practices, although all of those things assist us. It is when you meet God, you listen and you change, and this is what this woman did.

This is why this story is so glorious. And this is what we must compare ourselves to. How much are we like this woman?

 

Well, if we are honest, we know we are like her in at least one way. We sin and we have misconceptions, misunderstandings, things we don’t know. We are entangled in things like she was entangled. So we are like her, yes, absolutely.

But when she met God, she reacted with joy. You know, she came to get water. And the apostle tells us she left her water pot to go into the city because she had found the Living Water. It’s a very significant detail, one of those little pearls in the scripture. I love to read that line: “The woman left her water pot.” This is not an incidental detail. She had found the way of life, and she was becoming truly alive.



We have been presented with the way of life. How is it then that we do so many things that are not the way of life? Because we have not met God as she has. Oh, God has presented Himself to us, just as He did to her: On our level, according to our understanding. But we have not reacted to Him as she did. She turned her life upside down. She changed completely.

She reminds me of Mary of Egypt, when Mary of Egypt saw that she had been a sinner and she made the promise to the Mother of God. From that point on her life was completely changed.



When we meet God, we must change. That is what I want you to learn from this story. If you are to have the Holy Spirit in you, you must listen to what God is telling us and change.

And God help you to listen and to change. Amen.

 

(Grateful acknowledgement to the handmaiden of God Helen for transcribing this homily.)

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

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This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-05_2009-05-17.html

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-05_2009-05-17.doc

and in audio: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-05_2009-05-17.mp3

 

More Orthodox homilies about the Samaritan woman are at: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/index.html#The_Samaritan_Woman

 

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[1] Photini, Russian: “Svetlana”, “light”

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Sunday of the Paralytic – the dialogue is the most important thing. Audio sermon 2010

Monday, April 26th, 2010


LISTEN NOW

John 5:1-15 1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.


If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-04_2010-04-25+the-paralytic.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pascha-sunday-04_2010-04-25+the-paralytic.mp3


RSS feed of Sunday and some weekday homiliesRSS feed of Sunday and some weekday homilies:http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics

Archive of Audio and text homilies:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

 

Audio and Text homilies on the Sunday of the Paralytic:

 

Sunday of the Paralytic. 4th Sunday of Pascha.
Wilt thou be made whole? A question we must answer at EVERY moment.
1999
Also in Format: Word DOC

The Paralytic
2000

The Paralytic
2001

The Paralytic
Baptism explained
John 5:1-15
2008

Another important question.
John 5:1-15
2009

The Paralytic
John 5:1-15
2010

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Explanation of Scripture read by Orthodox Christians – The healing of the paralytic

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Ten questions and answers about the healing of the Paralytic by the Sheep's pool, such as:

In the scriptures, physical afflictions like paralysis, blindness, and leprosy often indicate or point to an even more serious problem. What is it?

According to the scriptures, the witness of the fathers, and the overall mind of the church, what are at least two causes or reasons for physical infirmities?
 
What is pointed to by the healing in the water?
 
Who was the angel who "troubled the water"? Why do we know this?
 

http://www.orthodox.net/questions/paralytic_1.html

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