“When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan”
On the Feast of the Holy Theophany, the Holy Church takes us to Bethany at the Jordan: the King, worshipped by the Cherubim and the Seraphim with fear and trembling, comes to John to accept Baptism from him. The Holy Prophet tries to deter Him saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:14). “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15), follows the Divine answer.
And, as the Savior comes out of the water, the heavens are opened and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descends upon Him, and God the Father testifies, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Thus, according to the pre-eternal counsel of God, the mystery of the Holy Trinity has been revealed.
The Lord of righteousness and the righteous Judge fulfills God’s truth and instructs us in it. He accepts Baptism from John so that, with His example, to show the men the need of repentance and the cleansing from sins.
As we commemorate the glory of Christ the Savior revealed at His Baptism, we should also remember today the glory that we are all called at the Sacrament of the Holy Baptism: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.” A man baptized unto Christ and in the name of the Holy Trinity has spiritually put on Christ, in other words, put on His humility and truth, His meekness, self-denial, self-control, patience, obedience, His love and mercy. Therefore, we must force ourselves to diligently aspire to live virtuous life and fight against any sin. This way, we may be vouchsafed worthy to hear the voice of the Lord on the waters, Who cries out, “Come, ye all, and take the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of the fear of God, by the appearance of Christ.”
This voice is heard today upon the waters, but not only the Jordan – a small river in Palestine – has received the special grace of the appearance of the Most Holy Trinity, receiving God Incarnate into its waters, but also the waters all over the earth, through the invocation of the name of God, were consecrated today and they are consecrated every year on this day.
On the eve of the Feast of the Holy Theophany, the Great Vespers with litya and Polyeleos were celebrated in the Trinity and Transfiguration Cathedrals of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, followed on the next day by three Divine Liturgy services and the sanctification of the holy springs.