The Samaritan Woman (John 20:1-10)

On the fifth Sunday of Pascha, the Church commemorates the Samaritan Woman. In the dismissal hymn we chant “give drink to my thirsty soul”, which is drawn from the Samaritan Woman’s words to the Lord, “give me this water, that I may not thirst.” (John 4:15) This hymn refers to Christ as the “fountain of life”, being as He revealed Himself: “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.” (John 4:14).

The encounter between the sinful Samaritan woman and Christ is one of the most beautiful to be found in the New Testament (John 4:5-42). It is private and yet mystical. He reveals God’s plan for the salvation of the whole world, for gentiles and Jews alike. He announces that now is the time when “worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) In other words, Christ reveals that from this time, His time, the worship of God will no longer take place in Jerusalem or on the mountain on which the Samaritans worshipped. Instead, God will be worshipped in spirit and truth everywhere.

In response to the woman’s acknowledgement of the coming Messiah, Christ reveals Himself as God (a Theophany): “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:25- 26) He is the Messiah who offers the world, and her personally, access to a fountain of living water which provides eternal life. In other words, He offers her and all of us, salvation; a living part of His body (the Church). Access is offered to His kingdom for all who choose to drink of the water He offers. On this feast day we are reminded to approach the well to drink from the fountain of life ourselves and remember God’s plan for our salvation. May we have the Samaritan woman’s (St Photini’s) blessing.


Source: Lychnos April – May 2019