THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS
"Love thy God with all your heart, mind…"
and secondly, "Love thy neighbor…"
We live in a world bombarded with thousands of messages, some subtle and some not-so-subtle, of merchandising that impact the way we interact with others, and the way we relate to God. Much of what we glean from these messages is narcissistic in nature, estranging us from one another. We become so self absorbed that we fail to live authentically as Christians, being peace-makers, working towards justice, failing to forgive those who've wronged us, and not being compassionate towards those in need of mercy and charity. "Those who hear the word ought to give proof of the work of the word in their own souls" (St. Macarius the Great).
If we wear a cross around our neck, make the sign of the cross in perfect order, keep the fast periods, but have not the love of the poor we have gained nothing. Christ Himself told us that we can not love God Whom we've not seen, if we do not love our neighbor. If we do not give alms to the poor and speak out for human justice, we will have gained nothing. If we do not treat everyone with respect and love, and show mercy to all, we have not Christ in us.
We must put on Christ with the rising of the sun, and with it's going down. Christ must be in every word we speak and in every action of our heart. He must reign supreme in our lives, that all see Christ in us, just as we must see Christ in every person with whom we come in contact. "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20).
Love in Christ,
Photo: Archpriest Nicholas Letten of Portland, Oregon. At 88 years of age, he is a man of wisdom and holiness, and I am grateful to God for his friendship, support, guidance, and love.
Sunday May 18, 2014 / May 5, 2014
Fifth Sunday of Pascha: The Samaritan Woman. Tone four.
Great-martyr Irene of Thessalonica (1st-2nd c.).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1919).
Uncovering of the relics of Venerable James, abbot of Zhelezny Bor (1613).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, "Inexhaustible Cup" (1878).
Martyrs Neophytus, Gaius, and Gaianus.
Venerable Adrian, abbot of Monza Monastery (1619).
Sts. Martin and Heraclius, of Illyria (4th c.).
New Monk-martyr Ephraim of Nea Makri (1426) (Greek).
Venerable Euthymius, the Wonderworker, bishop of Maditos in Thrace (11th c.) (Greek).
St. Eulogius the Confessor, bishop of Edessa (386).
St. Hilary of Arles (449).
Venerable Barlaam of Serpukhov (1377).
St. Hydrock of Cornwall.
Translation of the relicts of St. Aldhelm, bishop of Sherborne.You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
The Scripture Readings for the Day
Barnabas and Saul at Antioch19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. 23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Relief to Judea27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9 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.”
The Whitened Harvest27 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.”
The Savior of the World39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.
42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
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