January 14, 2023

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

 By St. John Maximovitch

Today the nature of the waters are sanctified. Today , the Son of God is baptized in the waters of the Jordan, not in need of purification Himself, but in order to cleanse the sinful human race from defilements.

Today the heavens are opening up and the voice of God the Father is heard: "This is My beloved Son."

The Holy Spirit descends on the Savior of the world standing in the Jordan, confirming that He is the incarnate Son of God.

The Holy Trinity appears clearly, is revealed to the human race.

The waters of the Jordan are sanctified, along with them all the waters in nature, all the aquatic nature.

Water is given the power to wash not only the body, but the whole soul of a person, to revive the whole person to a new life through Baptism.

All nature is sanctified through water, for the world was built from water and moisture penetrates everywhere, reviving everything else in nature. Without moisture, neither animals nor plants can live; moisture penetrates into stones and into all places of the universe.

The waters are sanctified, the whole universe is sanctified through them, preparing for renewal and rebirth for the coming eternal Kingdom of God.

Every year on this day the Glory of God is manifested, renewing and confirming what happened at the Baptism of Christ. Now the heavens have opened again, the Holy Spirit descends again. We do not see it with the bodily eye, but we feel that power. The consecrated waters during the ritual of the mystery change, become incorruptible, and remain for many years.

That can be seen by everyone, both believers and unbelievers, both wise and ignorant.

Where do you get that property of water from?

That's the work of the Holy Spirit.

With faith, those who drink and smear themselves receive relief and healing from infirmities of the soul and body, they sanctify dwellings, the power of demons is expelled, God's blessing is brought down on those who are sprinkled with them. Through the consecration of water, the blessing of God is again given to the whole world, cleansing it from the sins we commit and protecting it from the wiles of the devil.

Now the Holy Spirit, descending on the waters when the Cross of Christ is immersed in them, descends on all nature.

Only it cannot enter a person without his will.

Let us open our hearts and souls to accept Him and with faith from the depths of our souls cry out: “Great art thou, Lord, and marvelous are Thy works, and not a single word will suffice for the singing of Thy wonders.”

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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