The Life-Giving SpringFr. Barnabas Powell
Christ is risen!
On this Bright Friday:
As a life-giving fount, you did conceive the Dew that is transcendent in essence, O Virgin Maid, and you have welled forth for our sakes the nectar of joy eternal, which does pour forth from your fount with the water that springs up unto everlasting life in unending and mighty streams; wherein, taking delight, we all cry out: Rejoice, O you Spring of life for all men. (apolytikion of the feast of the Life-giving Spring)
On Bright Friday many Orthodox celebrate a feast of the Mother of God called the Life-giving Spring. This feast recalls a beautiful church in Constantinople that has been built and destroyed several times, and now exists again (though not in its former glory) in that ancient city.
The church is built and dedicated on the site of a beautiful spring of water that recalls the imagery of the Theotokos as the Life-giving Spring of eternal life as she gives birth in the world to Him Who is Life Himself.
Today, let us contemplate how we, too, are called to continue to be “springs of life” in our world. Just as the Theotokos was called to birth the Christ into the world, so God now multiplies this ministry of revelation in the hearts and lives of every believer. We, too, are called to “birth” Christ into our world, our sphere of influence, our everyday lives. We, too, are called to be “life-giving” springs of the refreshing water of the Gospel to those around us.
Part of the wisdom of the Church in teaching us to venerate the Mother of God is to remind each of us that just as she said “yes” to the angel bringing her “good news of great joy;” so we are called to continually offer our free “yes” to the daily call to manifest Christ and His life-giving love to those around us.
As we approach St. Thomas Sunday, let us leave behind the “functional atheism” of our everyday living and embrace the cosmic call to be a “life-giving spring” of Christ’s love and presence in our actions, attitudes, and words today.
Pick just one person today and offer them a “cup of water” from the life-giving spring of the Resurrection and perpetuate not just an old memory or nostalgic cultural reminiscence, but the ever fresh and always joyous message of salvation in Christ Jesus.