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Homily on the Sunday After Theophany (St. Luke of Simferopol)



By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

At Vespers of Great Feasts, the so-called narratives (paremoias) are learn, that are normally excerpts from the books of the Old Testament. They set out the occasions of former occasions, reminiscent and even explaining what the Holy Church celebrates on a given day. On the best feasts, the variety of narratives, normally not exceeding three, tremendously will increase, and on the day of the Resurrection of Christ it reaches fifteen, and on the day of Theophany – 13.When contemplating the narratives of Theophany, it’s instantly evident that they cope with miraculous modifications within the properties of water beneath the direct affect of the instructions of God Himself or the actions of the nice Saints impressed by Him.

Already within the first narrative from the e book of Genesis, we hear that when God created the heavens and the earth, “the earth was formless and empty… and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters” (Genesis 1:2).

By His Divine affect on the waters, He gave them the ability to present life, to provide reptiles and fish from themselves.

In the second narrative we hear in regards to the nice miracle of the passage of the folks of Israel via the Red Sea. At the command of God, the prophet Moses struck the water along with his rod, and the water, as if alive and having heard God’s command, instantly fulfilled it and dispersed to the best and left, in order that the folks of Israel may cross the underside, and it closed its waves over the military of Pharaoh.

A miracle much like that is described within the fourth narrative, through which we hear that the stream of the Jordan stopped when, beneath Joshua, the clergymen with the Ark of the Covenant and all of the folks crossed over it. Water right here, like a rational creature, was obedient to the command of God.

And not solely the direct instructions of God obeyed the water, which individuals in useless think about dead. The water undoubtedly felt the holiness of the mantle of the nice prophet Elijah, with which he hit it in order that it will cease its stream and he and the prophet Elisha may cross the underside of the Jordan to the opposite aspect, as we learn within the fifth narrative.

And that the sanctity of Elijah’s mantle was nice, we all know from the truth that, having planted it on his disciple Elisha, he handed on to him, to the very best diploma, his present of miracles and prophecies.

The eleventh narrative tells of the superb miracle of the burning of the sacrifice of the prophet Elijah in his dispute with the clergymen of Baal. Fire fell from heaven and burned the sacrifice of the prophet after his fiery prayer and watering the altar and the sacrifice with twelve waterpots of water.

In the third narrative we hear how the bitter water of Marah out of the blue grew to become candy when the prophet Moses, on the command of God, put a chunk of wooden into it.

In the twelfth narrative we learn how the harmful and dangerous properties of Jericho’s water modified when the blessed salt was poured into it by the prophet Elisha.

In the sixth narrative we learn in regards to the sudden therapeutic from the merciless leprosy of Naaman, the commander of the king of Syria, who dipped seven occasions within the Jordan on the order of the prophet Elisha. Isn’t this the large energy of the prayer of the nice righteous man and prophet over the factor of water?!

Why did I say a lot to you, outlining the narrative readings of the feast of Theophany, in regards to the miraculous modifications within the properties of water in response to God’s instructions and thru the prayers of the saints? Of course, so as to reply the tough query in regards to the objective of the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ from John within the streams of the Jordan.

In previous years, I instructed you that the nice John the Baptist himself was shocked on the need of the Lamb of God to be baptized by him. He spoke quite a bit in regards to the deep reply of the Savior to the bewildered query of John: “Let it’s so now, for it’s becoming for us to satisfy all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).

The narratives of the nice feast of the Baptism of the Lord lead us to grasp one other objective of the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ. By his immersion within the waters of the Jordan, He sanctified them and gave them miraculous energy to carry out the nice thriller of baptism.

With three immersion in water, sanctified by deep prayers, the signal of the cross, anointing with consecrated oil, the baptized particular person is free of the unique sin of Adam and from all his personal sins and leaves the font holy and clear.

The consecration of water, carried out in the course of the thriller of baptism is by no means the identical as in the course of the prayer service for the sanctification of water and even in the course of the nice consecration of water on the day of Theophany, however is a vital a part of the thriller of baptism.

In a deep prayer on the consecration of water, the priest calls on the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who consecrated the Jordan water with His Baptism, to consecrate the water of the font for the baptized.

With reverent awe let the priest say this prayer and make the nice thriller, mentally trying on the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ within the waters of the Jordan.

And we, all Christians, with nice reverence and worry, might we elevate up our hearts to God on the holy day of Theophany, solely as soon as, on the day of the Baptism of the Lord, who tangibly revealed to us the nice thriller of His Trinity.

With their very own ears, folks on the banks of the Jordan heard the voice of God the Father, saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I’m effectively happy” (Matt. 3:17).

With their very own eyes they noticed the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the God-man Jesus, standing within the water of the Jordan; they noticed the Third Person of the Holy Trinity – the Most Holy Spirit, within the type of a dove descending from heaven on the Lord Jesus.

And it was a lot simpler for folks to imagine within the Holy Trinity, seeing and listening to It, than to imagine solely after preaching about It. Let us additionally settle for with deep religion the testimony of those historical Christians and stroll with them alongside the trail proven to us by the God-man Jesus Christ, asking for the grace-filled assist of the Holy Spirit on this tough path. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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