This week marks the end of another school year, and the beginning of a new adventure we all know and love as summer. Even for families without children in school, the end of the school year represents the cycle of life and the enjoyable tradition of summer vacations! For those of us in Florida, summer also means unbearable heat and the need for some refreshing water at the beach.
There was another time in the heat of the day when someone needed some refreshing water. A woman from Samaria (we know her as St Photini) stopped by a well in the afternoon heat in the desert to get a drink of water. While she was there, she encountered much more than a glass of water. She met God Who promised she would never thirst again. The only requirement was that she drink the water He was willing to give her. In her struggle during the heat of the day, and in her willingness to engage with Christ, St Photini was saved.
Now it is our turn to engage with Christ during the heat of summer. It has become ‘normal’ to take a vacation from church attendance during the summer months, even if we don’t travel. This custom needs to stop, but it will take our willingness to ignore the heat and engage with Christ at the well. During this season, at the Small Entrance during the Divine Liturgy we sing, “In congregations, bless the Lord God from the wellsprings of Israel.” Fortunately for us, we don’t have to enter the desert.
We just need to come to Church. Every time we receive the Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we are cooled by His Grace. Christ said to St Photini, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4.22-24)
Today is our chance to meet Christ at the ‘wellsprings of Israel’ and be saved. Today is our chance to worship God ‘in spirit and truth’ because Christ is Truth. If St Photini had remained home instead of venturing out, she would have remained a Samaritan woman. If we remain home this summer, we will remain separated from God. Don’t let the summer heat keep you from God.