In this video recording, Archbishop Christophoros from Jordan talks about the dialogue between Christ and the Samaritan woman and how the Lord teaches how to meet one another and how to break down all the barriers that distance us. This is a sermon recorded in May 30th 2021 by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – Amman – Jordan.
English translation by Waad Rabahie Video source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – Amman – Jordan (https://youtu.be/Jo0S6YeQo3s)
We always despise others, we like to make them feel lower than us and make ourselves better and higher.
We look down on them in our dialogue, while we see Christ did the opposite. He gave the woman a message, “you are a valued person and I need you. I want to drink. Give me water.”
Today we listened to the scripture reading from the Gospel of John. You heard the dialogue between the Samaritan woman and Jesus. Indeed it is a dialogue full of theology. But today, let us together notice the following from the Fathers of the Church. Today the Lord made a dialogue and a meeting. He met the Samaritan woman and spoke with her. Although there were many barriers: He is a man, she is a woman, He is Jewish, she is Samaritan, the place was empty, no one was there, she is a sinful woman and He knew that she was an adulterer. Because He said to her: “you have had five husbands” [John 4:18]. Yet Christ did not consider anything. He breaks down all barriers to make an encounter, to embrace with love. Today the Lord teaches us a lesson about how to meet one another and how to break all the barriers that distance us from one another. Whatever these barriers are.
The essence and ethos of our Orthodox Christianity is how to meet others in a good meeting and to activate the dialogue and love which edifies. And how much we need such a meeting in our society and in particular in our Christian house, within the families. The meeting is not a meeting of bodies, nor the dialogue is useless without reaching love. The meeting and dialogue have spiritual results where we transform and take off the old man in us, where we overcome our pride and ego and stop our bad habits, to meet the neighbor i.e. we die to meet the neighbor.
We kill everything in us for love to prevail inside the home, family, tribe, and society. Today the Lord made a dialogue with the Samaritan woman. And let us pay attention to how He dialogued with her, so that we too dialogue with a good and right way. The Lord knew she was a woman, a Samaritan, and a sinner… etc. She even came to draw water at the sixth hour, that is 12 pm, when no one ever comes to the well, because they all used to comment on and judge her. That is why she went at that time to escape them. However, the Lord said to her: “Give Me a drink” [John 4:7] What does this mean? He gave her a value, telling her, “you are an important person”.
Notice, my children, how the Lord teaches us to dialogue with one another. “You are important. And I need you.” She replied: “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” [John 4:9] And this is when she began to open inside and humble herself and had the dialogue with Christ which we heard. We saw how the Lord led her to confession and repentance. When we listen to others as they confess something to us we should not judge them or belittle them. We should not tell them, “you are a sinner, or I despise you”. No. That is why the Lord revealed to this woman what he did not reveal to the Pharisees and the scribes who many times asked Him to reveal himself and say clearly if He is the Messiah. He did not reveal to them because He knew their hard hearts. But He told this Samaritan woman, “I who speak to you am He”. “I am the Messiah. I am Christ.” And thus the transformation happened. This woman, this sinner, this Samaritan transformed into a saint, Saint Fotini, meaning “enlightened one”. Saint Fotini is one of the Church’s saints. So the sinner, with the right and good dialogue, with repentance, with love and humility transforms into a saint.