- Yesterday’s gospel reading (John 7:37 – 52; 8:12) and epistle reading (acts: 2:1 – 11) reference two great feasts that a significant to the great day of Pentecost. Each reading feeds of the other. So let us focus on the greater reading – the gospel, first. We are told that this discourse occurred on the last day of the feast, the great day. The feast that is referenced here is the feast of Tabernacles – a great and solemn day for the Jews. For the first seven days the priests fetched water from the pool of Silaom while singing Hallel psalms. At the temple they would spill the water down the steps signifying God’s care for his people in finding water during their 40 year wandering in the desert. On the last day of the feast, the great day, this ritual did not occur thereby signifying that God had fulfilled his promise faithfully to his people.
- It is in this context that Christ says “he who believes in me as Scripture has said, out of his heart shall run living water.” His listeners would have understood what he was talking about. He identified himself as God. Hence the division amongst them over his utterances.
- The feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit visited the apostles, celebrated the taking of the first fruits from the land to the temple to be dedicated to God. Similarly, the first fruits of the Holy Spirit was that are transformed simple fisherman into lions of the faith. So for the celebration of Pentecost we need to remember that there are two feasts being referred to: one remembering God’s beneficence to his people where Christ declared that the gateway to that beneficence was through him and via the Holy Spirit and the second that declares the simple fisherman as the first fruits dedicated to God through the Holy Spirit.
- And the Holy Spirit, whose feast day we celebrated this morning; what of Him? It is the Holy Spirit that gives life. It is the Holy Spirit that allows understanding. It is the Holy Spirit that allow us to say we are Christ’s. Yet, how many of us even bothered to commemorate this great feast day. Today’s feast day day to the Holy Spirit is the same as Easter is to Christ. Yet, for all that, most of us are supremely indifferent. Now, that is indeed cause for serious reflection. May the Holy Spirit enlighten and enliven us all to bring us closer to the Father through the Son, Amen.
- Tomorrow, I present the hour of orthodoxy on six EBA FM from 5 PM to 6 PM, the focus of the program is on the coming Sunday’s gospel reading.
- Do not forget tomorrow evening 6:45 PM adult Bible contest studies continue;
- Saturday morning divine liturgy in English 9 AM to 10:15 AM.
- We have had a bit of a run on our food store. We need blankets. They can be either single or double but they must be new or near new. We also need tea, sugar, flour (plain and self-raising), rice, spaghetti, pasta shapes, milk, tinned chickpeas, ladies personal hygiene products, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, sugar, Greek coffee. In the words of St Augustine: “what does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hastened to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what loves look like!”
- On 30 June we are holding one of our major fundraisers for the church. We are seeking your help by supporting the function. Further details can be obtained from the flyer. We are doing good work at St Nektarios but we need to be supported. Thank you.
Thought for the week: just as fire gives off heat and light so the Spirit gives off fervour and life. As the sun can only be seen through the radiance of its light so too Christ, who can only be embraced through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.
Till next time.
Father John Athanasiou 041 106 1554