19 January 2024
Dear brothers and sisters, I wholeheartedly greet you on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, on the Feast of the Theophany!
2,000 years ago, the ancient world seemed to stand still in anticipation of the Saviour. And when the time came for the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies, the Lord manifested Himself to people on the Jordan River. Thus began the ministry of the Son of God on earth.
The sinless God-Man Jesus Christ was baptised by the Prophet John and voluntarily took on the sins of men so as to atone for them on the Cross. At the same time, the Holy Spirit descended from Heaven in the form of a dove onto the Son of God, and the Voice of the Father announced that the age of the New Testament of God with man had come, in which the path to eternal life is open to everyone.
When the grace of the Lord enters our world, everything it touches returns to its original state, becomes in accord with the Divine plan, and is corrected, healed, transformed.
Thus, on the Feast of the Theophany, simple water becomes ‘Great Agiasma’ — holy water filled with power and grace — through the action of the Holy Spirit and due to prayers of the Church.
Today, the world is groaning with fear and wrongdoings, with rampant hatred and evil. We all need faith and hope, holiness and grace more than ever. It is important for us to know that we are not forgotten by God, that evil and death have no power over the invincible strength of Christian love, and that everything can be changed for the better.
I wish all of us, dear brothers and sisters, that the Lord may enter the river of our lives as well. That it may also be renovated, become clean and holy, like the waters of the Jordan on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, that we may return to our main purpose — to be good helpers of our Creator and God and conductors of His good will in this world.
May this feast strengthen us all in faith and godliness, give us peace of heart, spiritual joy and consolation, enlighten us with grace, and become the beginning of our transfiguration for the better.
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