Glorious Epiphany of Our Lord
The Greek word, “Epiphany” means “a manifestation” or “an apparition” and the word, “Theophany, “an appearance of God.” On this day we celebrate the appearance or manifestation of Christ among us as God’s Son. In the Eastern Churches the celebration of the Epiphany originally centered on both the Birth of our Lord and his baptism. The feast of the Epiphany is intimately connected with the mystery of our Lord’s birth. The Child who was born for us and the Son who was given to us is manifested before us to be the Son of the Most High. Christ begins his public life with his baptism by John in the Jordan river. At his baptism Christ is seen as the fulfillment of John’s preaching: he is the Messiah and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Father and the Holy Spirit are witnesses to Christ for he is the beloved Son of the Father and upon him the Spirit rests. Thus at the baptism of the Lord we have not only an epiphany or manifestation of Christ as God’s Son, but also a theophany or manifestation of the Holy Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The length of the Season of Epiphany varies each year, as it is dependent on the start of Great Lent. (excerpt from the Maronite Synaxarion)
Focus on our own Baptism and our universal call to holiness.
Plan an event focused on what it means to be a beloved son/daughter of God.
Insight From Catechism
“In Baptism, we become members of the Body of Christ, sisters and brothers of our Redeemer, and children of God. [...] Being baptized means that my personal life story is submerged in the stream of God’s love.” (YOUCAT, 200)
Wisdom From Scripture
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son,* with whom I am well pleased.”” (Mt. 3:13-17)
Reference from the Divine Liturgy
“On this day Christ was baptized; waters have been truly blessed, so the children of Adam may be washed of all their sins.” (Qurbono, 125)
“You willingly emptied yourself and took the form of man. You gave us a pledge of life in the waters of baptism making us holy and heirs of your kingdom.” (Qurbono, 111)