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Homily Two on the Feast of the Lord’s Theophany (St. John Maximovitch)



By St. John Maximovitch

“Today You appeared to the world, and Your gentle, O Lord, has left its mark upon us.”The feast of the Baptism of the Lord was referred to as in historic occasions “the Day of Lights”.

The Baptism of Christ is the start of our enlightenment – the looks of Christ to the world, the revelation of the Holy Trinity to folks.

“Why,” the Golden-mouthed Teacher asks, “not the day on which He was born, however the day on which He was baptized, is it referred to as the Theophany? Because now He has manifested to the world.”

Although, when Christ was secretly born in a cave, the star revealed it to the magi and the angels introduced it to the shepherds, however earlier than the time set for His manifestation, Christ gave the impression to be hiding from the remainder of the world, generally hiding and working from Herod, generally not standing out among the many surrounding folks whereas staying in the home of what seemed to be His father Joseph. And now Christ seems to the world, from this time He begins to brazenly educate, carry out miracles, and is coming to endure for the human race, preaching and figuring out our salvation.

The manifestation of Christ and the start of His ministry is related with the manifestation of the Holy Trinity: “The Trinity was manifested within the Jordan.” The Old Testament Scripture solely vaguely and covertly proclaimed it. Now the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity clearly are manifest.

John the Baptist was despatched by God to serve Christ on this nice day and put together the way in which for Him. With his preaching, he aroused the hearts of individuals within the land of Israel to a very tense expectation of the Messiah. He ready His first disciples. He additionally introduced to folks that the Messiah had come and indicated Him, saying: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29, 27).

John pointed to the excessive dignity of the approaching Savior of the world: “I’m not worthy to bow to Him to loosen the strap of His boots” (Mark 1:7), he stated. With these phrases he expresses his humble reverence for Him, to organize the way in which for Who was despatched. But on the similar time, understanding these phrases in a figurative religious sense, it factors to the mixture of divine and human nature in Christ that surpasses cause. The Son of God placed on human nature and walked the earth in human flesh. But how far more wonderful a person is than the footwear he wears, God surpasses His creation much more. However, it’s simple for an individual to placed on and take off his footwear, however now human nature is inseparable from the Divine within the Son of God. Unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably they united.

But how was this Divine Mystery completed? How this thriller came about is meaningless to the human thoughts: “The method by which you conceived was most superb, O Theotokos. The method by which you gave delivery is past all thought, O Virgin” (Dogmatika seventh tone). Approach with reverence, whoever desires to theologize about this. Do not dare to argue greater than you need to, however study humility from the Greatest of these born of girls and, bow down, attempt to perceive and educate solely what God has revealed.

When the time got here, Christ got here to John.

Although they have been shut kin, John didn’t know Jesus, for till that day Jesus didn’t come into the wilderness, the place John consistently dwelt.

God foretold to John that by the Spirit descending upon the Messiah, he would acknowledge Him. But as quickly as Jesus approached, John felt reverence and awe: “It is becoming for me to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me” (Matt. 3:14–15), he stated to the Comer.

“Let it go now, so it behooves us to meet all righteousness ,” Christ answered.

What reality? Fulfill that which by the need of God is predetermined for our salvation. To fulfill the reality that by humility, and never by satisfaction and self-exaltation, that by obedience to the need of God, and never by self-will and one’s personal artwork, God is thought, everlasting salvation is acquired, the palaces of heaven are reached.

John submits and baptizes Jesus. Humbly the King of heaven bowed His head beneath the fitting hand of His servant, the Creator bowed earlier than His creation.

Jordan trembled, and with him all of the watery nature. The heavens opened up, marking the opening of the way in which to God and the heavenly Abodes for folks, the revelation of the truths of Divine Scripture. The voice of the Father thundered: “This is my beloved Son, I’m nicely happy with him” ( Matt. 3:17 ). The Holy Spirit within the type of a dove descended on the Son of God, as a person standing within the Jordan. What God foretold to John was fulfilled, there have been no extra doubts: earlier than him stood the Messiah, the Son of God Himself.

Thus the Holy Trinity was revealed to the world. “The Trinity was revealed within the Jordan, for the Father, the all-divine Essence Himself, introduced: ‘This One Who is baptized is my beloved Son.’ And the Spirit came across Him Who was like unto Him, Whom the folks bless and exalt supremely for all ages.”

There weren’t many individuals there, solely John the Baptist was the consultant of the entire human race. He proclaims what he has seen and heard. He begins the sermon on the Holy Trinity and religion in It is affirmed and revealed extra totally by the lips of the Son of God Himself and the revelations of the Holy Spirit.

The immersion of Christ into the Jordan and the looks of the Holy Trinity there sanctified the waters of the Jordan, and with them the entire nature of water.

Water is the premise of your entire seen world. At the creation of the world, because the guide of Genesis says, “the Spirit of God hovered over the waters” (Gen. 1:2). “For this they willfully overlook: that by the phrase of God the heavens have been of previous, and the earth standing out of water and within the water,” writes the holy Apostle Peter (2 Pet. 3:5).

Everywhere there’s water in a single kind or one other, whether or not within the type of moisture or within the type of steam. Neither animal nor plant can dwell with out water. There is moisture in strong stones, and within the depths of the earth, and within the air.

With the autumn of man, all nature was defiled, grew to become corruptible and bears the seal of sin.

Saving humanity, the Lord additionally prepares nature for cleaning from filth. Having sanctified the character of water within the Jordan, the Lord gave him the facility to revive an individual in baptism and to obtain the grace of the Holy Spirit throughout church sacred rites to heal human infirmities and drive away the facility of demons. Together with water, all nature is cleansed and sanctified, getting ready for the everlasting Kingdom of God. While sin continues, “the entire creation groans and suffers collectively till now” (Rom. 8:22), says the apostle Paul, however she additionally hopes that “she might be free of slavery to corruption into the liberty of the glory of the youngsters of God” (Rom. 8:21).

That liberation started within the Jordan, when Christ poured sanctification into its waters.

The enlightenment of the human race and on the similar time the sanctification of it and of all nature will proceed till the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the flaming parts will destroy the current heaven and earth, and there might be new ones by which reality dwells.

That is not going to be a brand new creation, however a renewed nature cleansed from the implications of sin, the place the saved resurrected human race, having fun with the sunshine of the Life-Giving Trinity, will glorify the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit with the angels.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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