water, You pour out my Jesus,
In the River Jordan of compassion,
To us who burn with thirst for You O Philanthropist;
Therefore having drunk from Your spring,
Immortal and light-bearing, O Christ, we chant;
Blessed are You, our God made manifest,
Glory to You!"
Who does not know what a torture thirst is! One can easily deceive hunger and forget it. But thirst can neither be controlled, nor can it be deceived nor can it be forgotten! The lips burn. The tongue dries out the mouth.
"I thirst" the Saviour was heard saying on the cross. Neither did he say, "I am hungry", nor "I am in pain", nor "I suffer". "I thirst", he said. A hand, which was created by Him, was there to give Him to drink "vinegar mixed with bile" in His thirst.
We, the unfortunate humans, with thirsty soul, run on the footpaths of life and we seek, search and try hard to find something. What is sought after is called "happiness" by some. Many call it "joy". Others call it "stillness". Others call it "calm". Many call it "peace". We struggle, we become exhausted, and we submit ourselves we do not cease running with burning lips. And when we thought that we found what we were looking for, that we touched it, that we grasped it, that we possessed it, alas! We realized that we were deceived. We start again to run, to chase again what we desire and again we remain with empty hands.
Truly, why? The answer to this why is simple. So simple that while we perhaps know, we had not noticed it, we did not consider it important.
We toil in vain and we always remain thirsty for happiness, for joy, for sweetness for feelings, for calm, for quietness, for peace, because what we need, and which brings all these with it, is "the water springing up to eternal life". It is the Word of God, the Word of God with a capital W. Jesus Christ, the Logos, that is.
Our soul is tortured by the thirst for Christ. We try to drink from "ruined wells" whether they are called money or social glory or pleasures etc., and the only thing we achieve is to highlight the thirst of our soul. And this is because we take the wrong road. We search for what we lack where it does not exist. Our soul is created for Him, and does not satisfy it's thirst, it cannot find comfort and fulfillment until it finds Him.
You, who are burnt out with the thirst for the God-man, listen to the words of the hymn "a vital spring" that is pushing water, crystal clear water, spring water, cleansing water. Water that grants life. Not a temporary life, but an eternal life, which is offered you at the River Jordan, by Him who became man for you! Bring near your burning lips, open your dry mouth and water your thirsty soul from the spring of the Lord, which is immortal and light giving. Accept Christ in your life and then "rivers of living water will flow from your belly".
My brothers and sisters,
You, who thirst for the truth, do not hesitate. Come to be refreshed at the spring of Truth.
You, who thirst for justice, do not doubt! Come to quench your thirst near Him who send down to the world showers of justice.
You, who thirst for peace, do not be meddlesome! Come to the God of peace and the Father of every comfort.
You, who thirst for mercy, do not have any hesitations! Step forward to the Lord of mercy.
You who thirst for purification, for forgiveness, for reconciliation, for love, for joy, for sweetness of feelings, for true happiness, for life, do not be undecided! "Christ was made manifest in the Jordan, wanting to renew the whole creation"!
And you who thirst without being conscious, of what exactly your soul is seeking for. You who built altars "to the unknown God", come also with the others to the full of grace streams of the Jordan, where we all are going today, and join your voice with ours with a stentorian and heartfelt "Blessed are You our God, made manifest, glory to You".
Translated by Mr. C. Theodorou
from The Orthodox Messenger, v.
South Australian Central Youth of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
PO Box 269, Glenelg, SA 5045, AUSTRALIA