The Road to Pentecost

In his homily on the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, Bishop Grigorije (here) writes:

“…That which Christ is speaking of on this occasion with the Samaritan woman is a continuation of that which He said on the feast of Mid-Pentecost …. And while Pentecost – the fulfilling of Christ’s promise, “the birthday of the Church, “the Feast of Comfort” at which the Spirit, the Comforter, is given to the people of God until the Second and glorious coming of Christ (which we await and this expectation we express in the Creed) so that this Mid-Pentecost is something like a “encouragement” on that road to Pentecost. On this feast, Christ calls Himself the Source of Life, standing in the midst the Jewish temple and cried out: ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink!’ For this reason do we sing in the troparion of that day: ‘In the middle of the Feast, O Savior, fill my thirsting soul with the waters of godliness, as Thou didst cry to all: ‘If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink’  O Christ God, Fountain of our life, glory be to Thee!

It is also on this feast of Mid-Pentecost that in the gospel reading our Lord says “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment”. We notice that our Lord doesn’t finish that thought by saying “but don’t judge at all…” Rather, He almost invites us to judge others. That is, if we are fit to judge with objectivity.

Blessed Augustine explains this verse:

“Who is he that judges not according to the person? He that loves equally. Equal love causes  that persons be not accepted. It is not when we honor men  in diverse measure according to their degrees that we ought to fear lest we are accepting persons. For where we judge between two, and at times between relations, sometimes it happens that judgment  has to be made between father and son; the father complains of a bad son, or the son complains of a harsh father; we regard the honor which is due to the father from the son; we do not make the son equal to the father in honor, but we give him preference if he has a good cause: let us regard the son on an equality with the father in the truth, and thus shall we bestow the honor  due, so that equity destroy not merit. Thus we profit by the words of the Lord, and that we may profit, we are assisted by His grace.”

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