Christ is Born!
All, I greet you on the Feast of Theophany with these words from St. John Chrysostom:
Beloved, I wish to celebrate and exult, for the holy day of Illumination is both the portal of jubilation and the seal of feasts. It is the culmination of the appearance of the Ancient of Days in the cave in Bethlehem, for the Suckling Who lay in the manger now releases the streams of Jordan, in which He is baptized with sinners. By touching His immaculate members, Jordan’s waters have gained power to remit the whole world’s iniquities. Coming forth from the womb of the most pure Virgin, Christ appeared as a babe among babes, as man among men, as a son to His Mother, and as a king to the Magi. He manifested Himself as the Good Shepherd, Who giveth His life for the sheep, in the words of divine Scripture. Today the same Jesus has appeared on the riverbank to cleanse publicans and sinners. Astonished by the unprecedented occurrence, the divine Paul cries, The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men! Everything existent is brightly illumined, beginning with heaven, whence sounds the voice of the Father. The sky is hallowed by the descent of the Spirit; the nature of water is sanctified and calls men to wash their souls and bodies. The whole of creation makes merry, except for the devil, who knows that the font is his destruction.
Oh, new wonder! Oh, ineffable condescension! Christ contends and I am crowned. He wrestles with the devil, and I am triumphant. He crushes the head of the dragon in the water, and a wreath of victory is placed upon my head. He is baptized, and I am cleansed. The Holy Spirit descends on Him, and my sins are remitted. The Father declares that He is the beloved Son, and I become a child of God for His sake. Heaven opens for Him and I enter. The kingdom is revealed and I inherit it. The Father speaks to Him, and I am called. He is approved, and I am no longer cast out. For all this I glorify the Father, Whose voice was heard from on high; the Son baptized below; and the Holy Spirit, come down in the form of a dove: the one God in Trinity, to Whom be all worship forever. Amen.