Meaning of this sometimes overlooked Feast
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.
- From the Website of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
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