The Holy Epiphany – The Feast of the Divine Manifestation (Theophany)

“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17)

The glorious feast of Epiphany is one of the Major feasts of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The baptism of Jesus (Epiphany), is a glorious moment since it is the moment when God reveals himself as the Father, also Jesus is revealed as the Son, and a dove appears as a revelation of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity are for the first time revealed in a single moment that is the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River.

St. John the Baptist came preparing the way for our Lord Jesus Christ, and teaching that when the Lord comes, He will baptize not just with water but with the Holy Spirit! “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matt 3:11)

John the Baptist bore witness that Jesus Christ when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And our heavenly Father was heard from heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”(Matt. 3:17)

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy and the only one without sin, stood in front of John the Baptist as a repentant, representing Adam and his descendants. The Lord offered on their behalf, a baptism of repentance.

Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word was not in need to be baptized because He is without sin. Yet, He took what is ours through incarnation and gave us what is His own in the Epiphany.  Jesus said: “Let it be so for now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:14-15). Jesus Christ did not want to be baptized because He needed it, but was baptised for us, in order to fulfill all righteousness, so that He would be without blame before man. Through His baptism, He transformed the water of baptism into the means in which we enter into the kingdom of God.

The Lord said to His disciples before His ascension, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt.  28:19)

We are baptized by the Holy Spirit at the time of our Chrismation when the priest anoints our body with the holy chrism (Myron). At this moment we receive the Holy Spirit and we become a living “temple of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 6:19)

St. Paul wrote, “We were buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so too may we live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)