Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday of the Paralytic, The Feast of Mid-Pentecost

In the midst of this Feast, O Savior, give Thou my thirsty soul to drink of the waters of true worship; for Thou didst call out to all, saying: Whosoever is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Wherefore, O Christ our God, Fountain of life, glory to Thee.

+ Apolytikion of the Feast, Tone 8

On the Wednesday of the Paralytic, we celebrate the Feast of Mid-Pentecost.

Standing in the midst of the teachers, Christ the Messiah teacheth at Mid-Feast.

Mid-Pentecost is the midpoint of the fifty days between the Feasts of Pascha and Pentecost. In the Divine Liturgy Gospel passage, we read that “in the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught” (John 7:14).The feast in question is the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles which commemorates the Israelites wandering in the desert for forty years, when they lived under tents and tabernacles. “Tabernacles” served as the middle link between the Jewish Passover, which recalls God’s deliverance of His people from the Egyptian pharaoh, and the Jewish Pentecost, which remembers Old Israel’s entry into the “promised land” of Mount Sinai. The risen Christ is the link for New Israel as it celebrates the New Passover (Pascha, the Resurrection) and the New Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples and apostles. When Jesus had preached in the temple, he had just healed the Paralytic Man—which the Orthodox Church recalled on the previous Sunday—and was about to give sight to the Blind Man—which the Orthodox Church will recall in ten days. The apolytikion of Mid-Pentecost announces the “waters of true worship”, which Christ will give us to drink, just as He gave the Samaritan Woman to drink; we commemorate that event on the coming Sunday. Thus, Mid-Pentecost reveals to the world that Christ will heal all of its infirmities, both physical and spiritual.

By Thy boundless mercy, O Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.

O Sovereign Master and Creator of all things, O Christ our God, Thou didst cry unto those present at the Judaic Mid-feast and address forth immortality’s water. 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.

With the streams of Thy Blood do Thou water my soul, which is grown dry and barren because of mine iniquities and offences, and show it forth to be fruitful in virtues. For Thou didst tell all to draw nigh Thee, O all-holy Word of God, and to draw forth the water of incorruption, which is living and which washeth away the sins of them that praise Thy glorious and divine arising. Unto them that know Thee as God, O good One, grant from on high the strength of the Spirit, which verily was borne by Thy disciples, for Thou are truly the Well-spring of life for all.

--Kontakion and Oikos of the Feast

The Living Waters of Mid-Pentecost by Fr. Stephen Rogers

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