In the Name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Ghost.
The day of the Epiphany is the day when
the whole world is being renewed and becomes a partaker of the
saintliness of God. But at the same time, it is the day when Christ
enters on the way to Calvary.
He came to John the Baptist on Jordan,
not in order to be cleansed, because he was pure of sin, both as God
and in the humanity made pure throughout the history of Israel by
those ancestors who had given their lives to God and whose
saintliness culminated in the all-purity of the Mother of God, so
pure, so stainless that She could be brought into the Holy of
Holies, into which even the High Priest dared not come except once a
year, and only after a special sanctification.
Christ did not need cleansing. But
these waters, into which all the sinners who had come to John the
Baptist confessing the evil of their lives had washed themselves,
were as it were heavy with the sinfulness and therefore the
mortality of mankind. They had become waters of death, and it is in
these waters that the Lord Jesus Christ merges Himself on that day,
taking upon Himself the mortality resulting from the sin of man.
He comes, immortal in His humanity and
His divinity, and at the same time He vests Himself with the
mortality of the sinful world. This is the beginning of the way to
Calvary. This is a day when we marvel at the infinite love of God.
But as on every other occasion, man had to participate completely in
the ways of salvation which God had provided. And this is why Christ
comes and becomes partaker of our mortality, to save us. The
culminating point will come on Calvary when He will say, 'My God, my
God, why hast Thou forsaken me?' It will be a moment when God as He
was in His humanity will have lost communion with the Father by
partaking of the destiny of mankind. This is the ultimate act of
Let us therefore today wonder and
marvel, and worship this love of God, and learn from Him; because He
said in the Gospel, 'I have given you an example. Follow it.' We are
called, within the limits of our sinfulness and humanity, to carry
one another's burdens, unto life and unto death. Let us learn from
this. We find it so difficult to carry the burdens even of those
whom we love; and practically impossible to shoulder the burdens of
those whom we do not love with a natural, direct tenderness. Let us
learn, because otherwise we will not have learned the first lesson
which Christ gives us when He enters upon His ministry. Amen.