Who we should become when drinking from the Water of Life

By Father Andrew Lemeshonok

Christ is Risen! Pascha is ongoing, and we continue fighting for joy and hope, which we can hear in these words: “Christ is Risen!” We want to make sure in this truth about God and that He has defeated death. If we are with God then we can prevail over our sick, lame, deaf, blind and foolish nature, and live with God forever.

The Lord calls upon us to lead a spiritual way of life - Let us lift up our hearts. However, we were born on this earth; have a hard time perceiving anything spiritual! In the Gospel, the Samaritan woman talks about the water, about the well and her thirst that she wants to quench, while the Lord talks about the water, which resurrects the person and lets us enter eternal life. The disciples go for food, they want to feed their Teacher. But the Lord offers them a different kind of food. Which one? This is My Body, and this is My Blood (referred to Matthew 26:26-28). This is a different and eternal life. It is difficult for us to perceive this for we need to estimate everything according to the measures of this world. The Lord wants us to be able to realize the spiritual meaning of what is happening to our life; to realize what is truly important in our life instead of caring for miniscule and irrelevant things…

We are already in the church, we believe and we feel that there we can find the truth of life, to find something what we cannot find anywhere else in the world. But we need to make sure in this. We need to come out of the church and look at our life from a different point of view. We should not be guided by the earthly laws, but begin a new life. Then all the questions will disappear. When we mix spiritual, soulful and corporal things together, then many questions arise and we can get  confused. This is why we need to trust God and accept what He gives us today. We should look for a spiritual sense in everything, instead of a secular one. We should tear ourselves away from our “justice”, our talents and gifts, if they disrupt us from following Christ. A rich man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is hard not because of his money. Money is not the case. The thing is, a man is simply afraid of losing what he has. A man feels that he is worth something and because of this he loses peace.

The rich one – it is also a man who arrogates his talents to himself, and does not use it for the Glory of God. Father Sergius, our icon painter says that sometimes it happens like this: “A person is developing professionally, he is working better and better, but at the same time he is getting worse inside…” A person becomes self-confident. However, if a person knows he is guilty, if nothing works out, if he understands that he cannot do anything, then he looks at this world and his neighbors in a different way. He does not disdain them.

If a person is working for the Glory of God, then God can give everything. Nevertheless, should a person arrogate his achievements to himself and say that he is one and only, he will lose everything.

What truth do we find in the church? Ask, and it shall be given to you (Matthew 7:7). What do we want? We want to have a nice week; we want everything to be good and things to work out. But, is this good for our salvation? We should think about what is important. Time will pass, and the earthly picture will change. The gardens are blooming now, but we look forward and think, “The leaves will fall soon, winter will come...” Life is rotating repeatedly until we suddenly stop – we are on our deathbed. The holy fathers say, “Remember about death and thus you will not sin”. When you leave this earth, what will you take? What will you need on your last day? Which gifts, which property? There will be nothing more than God, the grace of the Holy Spirit and hope and love towards your neighbor in your heart. This is what we tragically lack today. This is why a person should not be jealous of a wealthy person. For a true Christian, money does not mean anything, you cannot take it with you to Eternity!

When you can see life in a person’s eyes – it is truly beautiful, when a person has – that is also beautiful, you cannot buy that for any money in the world. This is what we need to strive towards, real values and not the fake ones.

This world often offers us fakes, “Look, you need this, buy that!” One sister told me, “I had a very nice car then I started working in church and now I have a bad car… Things are not working out for me, everything is bad, everything is falling apart… What has God given me?” In reality, she received everything that she could have received! To see that all cars eventually break down, that sooner or later clothing will wear out, that health will also get worse with time, and that one should not have hope in human strength – everything earthly will eventually end up in the graveyard of time. A person need to think about what is most important – to live with God and hold on to that life with hands, feet and teeth. Today like this, and then tomorrow perhaps a person may not have anything to eat at all. Yet, we know that person will not live with one bread alone (referred to Matthew 4:4). God will save those who trust Him and live with Him.

We must also think about the last words we will say on our deathbed, the last thoughts, and our last heartbeat.

God looks at the inner person, at his state of mind, how the person treat those around him. So if you what to know how you are doing, ask the people that you live with. They will tell you the truth about you: who you are and what you are worth. Anyone can bow and close their eyes in church but it is truly Godly to love the people that reproach us especially when we do not deserve it. 

May the Lord help us accept everything that is given to us today without complaining, without depression but with thanksgiving and an understanding that the challenges of life and temptations help a person form and polish a person’s soul. We need to ask God what is good and what is bad, what truly draws us closer to him and what does not.

We need to change our life, change our approach towards others. We should not act up and complain or make life difficult for others. Instead we need to make sure we do not hurt anyone, so that people will only feel the good from us and so that people would joyfully await us.