Why Was Jesus Baptized? Living the 'Theophany', the Baptism of the Lord
The Word descends and begins the re-creation of the universe.
We are invited on this great Feast to live our lives in the "Theophany" of the God who is a Trinitarian communion of Perfect love. The Christian vocation, no matter what our state in life, is to reveal the Love of the Trinity to the entire human race in order to bring them to the Waters of Baptism into New Life in the new humanity of the Church which is Christ's Body. There, joined in Him we participate in His ongoing redemptive mission until He returns to make all things new.
One of a myriad of beautiful Icons on the Eastern Christian churches depiction the 'Theophany' the revelation of the Trinity at the Baptism of the Lord
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - In the Western Church we end the Christmas season with the Feast of the Lord's "Baptism in the Jordan".This year, through an unusual application of liturgical calendaring, it occurs on the Monday right after the day when Catholics in the U.S. celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany because it was transferred to Sunday.
In some respects, that is unfortunate. Why? because too many will not be able to attend Mass and reflect on the connection of these two great Feasts of the Lord's "Epiphany" - his manifestation or revealing - and consider their deeper implications in the life of every believer.
Some of the most beautiful readings in the Office of Readings found in the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the whole church. It was formerly called the Breviary and was seen more as the required prayer of all Clergy, Bishops, Priests and deacons, as well as those in the consecrated life. However, since the last Council, this official Prayer of the Church is recommended for all Christians - and understandable so - once one discovers it!
The readings between what is usually a week between the Feast of the Epiphany and the Feast of the baptism of the Lord are profound, touching the deeper meaning of these feasts. Here are a few sentences from an ancient homily given by the Bishop of Constantinople, St. Proclus:
"At Christmas we saw a weak baby, giving proof of our weakness. In today's feast, we see a perfect man, hinting at the perfect Son who proceeds from the all-perfect Father. At Christmas the King puts on the royal robe of his body; at Epiphany the very source enfolds and, as it were, clothes the river.Come then and see new and astounding miracles: the Sun of righteousness washing in the Jordan, fire immersed in water, God sanctified by the ministry of man..."
The last time I excerpted such a beautiful portion from the Office of Readings from the Liturgy of the Hours, many of my readers asked me to help them to find this wonderful means of prayer. This excerpt and others are available to all of us in the"Liturgy of the Hours"
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord marks the beginning of what is called the "public" ministry. of Jesus. He was thirty years old. He died His redemptive death at Golgotha when He was only thirty three.
However, He also spent thirty redemptive years of life in what writers have sometimes called His "hidden years" in Nazareth's school, "growing in wisdom and stature". (Luke 2:52) Those years were not "hidden" in the sense of unimportant. It simply means that we do not find much about them in the Gospel accounts. However, they are rich with meaning, revealing the deeper truths of our faith and its invitation to each one of us who bear the name Christian.
Jesus, Perfect God and Perfect Man, the Incarnate Word, Son of God and Son of Mary, gave the same glory to the Father when he was working with wood in the workshop of Nazareth as he would years later when he raised a friend named Lazarus from the dead. From the moment of His conception, the Son of God recapitulated (to use a favored word of the great Church father, Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons) the entire human experience, re-creating and beginning humanity anew.
During those years, in the hearth of a human family the Son of God sanctified and transformed every aspect of ordinary human life. His redemptive and transforming work began in the first home of the whole human race, His mothers womb. Jesus was a Redeemer in the Womb, beginning His Incarnation as an "Embryonic Person", to use the phrase from the Instruction from the Holy See entitled "On the Dignity of every Human Person". From within the Living tabernacle of the Womb of the All Holy Virgin, He began His redemptive mission.
This child of Mary's was born and heaven touched earth. We commemorated that Holy Nativity just days ago. Some of our brethren in the Eastern Church commemorated it this week. At the breast of his mother, He elevated the already holy wonder and dignity of the vocation of motherhood.
In His sacred humanity he was nurtured, a sign of the beauty of the human experience of love, growth and maturation. He was raised by a ...
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