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The Baptism of Jesus Christ

This feast is known in Aramaic by Denho; which means manifestation, i.e. the manifestation of God to the world. In Greek it is called Epiphany, i.e. manifestation, as it celebrates also the manifestation of the Lord in the Western Catholic tradition. Originally this feast embodied the manifestation of the Lord in the flesh, i.e. Christmas and the manifestation of the Most Holy Trinity at the day of the baptism of the Son in the Jordan River.

Jesus came up to John to be baptized by him in the Jordan River. And when John got terrified and refused to do his job saying “It is I who need baptism from you, and yet you come to me! But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for this time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that uprightness demands…. And when Jesus had been baptized he at once came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. And suddenly there was a voice from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him” (Mat. 3:13-17).

Jesus wanted to get baptized by John for five reasons:

1)   So he might receive the witness from heaven that He is truly the Son of God.

2)   To testify that the baptism of John comes from God.

3)   To urge sinners to get baptized by John.

4)   To establish and mandate the sacrament of baptism for all who believe in Him.

5)   To sanctify the water and prepare to purify people in baptism from the original sin and its consequences.

Jesus was thirty years old when he got baptized; and after that He manifested himself to us as God, through preaching and healing and performing with signs the work of His Father. May the blessing of this feast be with us. Amen.