My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Our Risen Savior,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
THE WEDNESDAY OF MID-PENTECOST
Apolytikion (Dismissal) hymn of the Feast. Plagal of Fourth Tone.
"At Mid-feast give Thou my thirsty soul to drink of the waters
of piety; for Thou, O Savior, didst cry out to all. Whosoever is
thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Wherefore O Well-spring
of Life, Christ our God, glory to Thee."
Kontakion Hymn. Fourth Tone.
"O SOVEREIGN Master and Creator of all things, O Christ our God,
Thou didst cry unto those present at the Judaic Mid-feast and
addressed them thus: Come and draw the Water of Immortality
freely. Wherefore, we fall down before Thee and faithfully cry out:
Grant Thy compassions unto us, O Lord, for Thou art truly the
Well-spring of Life for all."
After our Savior had miraculously healed the paralytic, the Jews, especially the Pharisees and Scribes, were moved with envy and persecuted Him, and sought to slay Him, using the excuse that He did not keep the Sabbath, since He worked miracles on that day. Jesus then departed to Galilee. About the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles. He went up again to the Temple and taught. The Jews, marveling on the wisdom of His words, said, "How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" But Christ first reproached their unbelief and lawlessness, then proved to them by the Law that they sought to slay Him unjustly, supposedly as a despiser of the Law, since He had healed the paralytic on the Sabbath.
Therefore, since the things spoken by Christ in the MIDDLE OF THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES are related to the Sunday of the Paralytic that is just passed, the Church has appointed this present feast AS A BOND BETWEEN THE TWO GREAT FEASTS, THEREBY UNITING AS IT WERE, THE TWO INTO ONE, AND PARTAKING OF THE GRACE OF THEM BOTH. Therefore, today’s feast is called MID-PENTECOST, and the Gospel Reading, "At Mid-feast" — though it refers to the feast of the Tabernacles–is used.
It should be noted that there were THREE GREAT JEWISH FEASTS: THE PASSOVER, PENTECOST, AND THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. PASSOVER was celebrated on the 15th of Nissan, the first month of the Jewish calendar, which coincides roughly with our March. This feast commemorated the day on which the Hebrews were commanded to eat the lamb in the evening AND ANNOINT THE DOORS OF THEIR HOUSES WITH BLOOD. Then having escaped bondage and death at the hands of the Egyptians, they passed through the Red Sea to come to the Promised Land. IT IS ALSO CALLED "The Feast of Unleavened Bread," because they ate unleavened bread for SEVEN DAYS. PENTECOST was celebrated 50 days after the Passover, first of all, because the Hebrew Tribes had reached Mount Sinai after leaving Egypt, and there received THE LAW OF GOD. Secondly, it celebrated THEIR ENTRY INTO THE Promised Land, where they also ate bread after having been fed WITH MANNA FOR FORTY YEARS IN THE DESERT. Therefore, on this day they offered to God a sacrifice of bread prepared with new wheat. Finally, they also celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles from the 15th to the 22nd of "the seventh month," which corresponds roughly to our September. During this time, THEY LIVE IN BOOTH MADE OF BRANCHES in commemoration OF THE 40 YEARS THEY SPENT IN THE DESERT, LIVING IN TABERNACLES (BOOTHS), that is, tents (Exodus 10:10-20; Leviticus 23). [The Great Hrologion]
Please note. The last, the 8th, day of the Old Testament feast of the Tabernacles (tents), commemorating the 40 years WONDERING OF THE JEWS IN THE DESERT (that is why the people during the feast lived in tabernacles, i.e., tents made from wood branches), was accompanied by the following action: With a countless confluence of people, the high priest left the Temple of Solomon to the spring of Siloam, at the food of Zion; with a golden chalice scooped up light and clean water; at the sound of the trumpet they returned to the Temple, he mixed the water with wine and poured it over the
Altar of Oblation. The people did this action without stopping the Great Alleluia, i.e., the Six Psalms (112-117). By this action, we commemorate the wonderful gift OF DRINKING WATER FOR THE JEWS IN THE DESERT, by Moses destroying a rock. Having taken an instance from this sign, Jesus Christ also PROCLAIMS Himself AS THE SOURCE OF THE TRUE LIVING WATER (for whom BOTH THE WATER OF THE DESERT, AND THE WATER OF THE SILOAM SPRING, TOGETHER WITH OTHER SPRINGS IN THE PROMISED LAND, WERE ONLY PROTOTYPES). At the same time, He taught that THE BELIEVER IN HIM, FILLED WITH THE TRUE LIVING WATER, WILL HIMSELF BECOME A BENEFICIAL VESSEL FROM WHICH FLOWS OUT PLENTY OF THE MULTIFARIOUS ABILITIES OF THE Spirit of God. Not only will he NOT THIRST FOREVER, BUT WILL RECEIVE THE STRENGTH TO ACT WITH THE SAVING IMAGE EVEN FOR OTHERS (Saint John 7:37-39). [Posted by John Sanidopoulos]
"Glory Be To GOD
– Sain John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in Christ’s Saving Resurrection,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George