Athanasius, Festal Letter 44 Fragment

For Friday of Lent Week 4

When therefore the servants of the Chief Priests and the Scribes saw these things, and heard from Jesus, “Whosoever is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink;” [John 7:37] they perceived that this was not a mere man like themselves, but that this was He Who gave water to the saints, and that it was He Who was announced by the prophet Isaiah. For He was truly the splendour of the light , and the Word of God. And thus as a river from the fountain he gave drink also of old to Paradise; but now to all men He gives the same gift of the Spirit, and says, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink.” Whosoever “believes in Me, as says the Scripture, rivers of living water shall flow out of his belly.” [John 7:37-38] This was not for man to say, but for the living God, Who truly vouchsafes life, and gives the Holy Spirit.

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