Saturday, January 10, 2009

Holy Theophany! Christ is Baptized -- in the Jordan!

Today and tomorrow the Catholic Church of the Roman Rite celebrate the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ in the River Jordan by the hand of the great Forerunner, Prophet and Baptist John.



This celebration in the Eastern Churches, especially those of the Byzantine Rite (Rusyn, Melkite, Romanian, Ukrainian, Bylorussian, Russian and Greek -- those in communion with the Church of Rome) call this the Holy Theophany of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.



The Eastern Orthodox (those Eastern Byzantine Churches not in communion with Rome -- Russia, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Constantinople, Ukraine, Cyprus, Albania, Romania, Bylorus and Antioch in Syria) also call this feast the "theophany"", but celebrate it on a different day according to the Julian Calendar (predating the calendar we use today in the West, the Gregorian Calendar from the 16th century).



The word "theophany" means the manifestation of God, and differs from the Western Church (Roman Catholic and those of the Protestant Reform which follow a liturgical calendar) "epiphany". For Western Christians the Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of God through the visitation of the Magi -- Gentiles coming from the East, according to the Gospel of Matthew.



Theophany refers to the manifestation of God in the flesh at the Jordan River when the Most Holy Trinity is revealed for the first time -- the Son is baptized in the River by John the Forerunner; the voice of the Father is heard over the waters; the Holy Spirit descends upon the Son in the form of a dove.



In the Eastern Catholic Churches (most of which follow the Gregorian calendar), the celebration of Holy Theophany falls on January 6th; in the West this is the traditional date of Epiphany. For both Eastern and Western Catholics, this is a traditional date for blessing homes.

1 comment:

Connie said...

FR.KIM THE LORD GIVE YOU PEACE FR.KIM THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR ARTICLE ON THE BAPTISM OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD IN THE JORDAN AND THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMATION IN THE BYZANTINE AND OTHER RITES AS WELL THAT THIS GREAT CELEBRATION IS CELEBRATED ON A DIFFERENT CALANDER DATE JAN.6 INSTEAD OF JANUARY 11 AS IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC RITE. MAY ALL OF US CONTINUE TO REJOICE IN THE GREAT GIFT THAT GOD GAVE TO ALL OF US HIS HOLY PEOPLE HIS ONE AND ONLY BEGOTTEN SON AND THE MANIFESTATION OF JESUS BEING BAPTIZED IN THE RIVER JORDAN BY JOHN THE BAPTIST MAY THE SYMBOLIC SYMBOL OF WATER CONTINUE TO BE A CONSTANT REMINDER OF OUR OWN BAPTISM THAT WE ARE CLEANSED FROM OUR SINS THROUGH BAPTISM.AMEN!LET ALL OF US CONTINUE TO PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS AND SINCE JANUARY 11,2009 THROUGH JANUARY 18,2009 LET US ALL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR MEN AND WOMEN OF DISCERNEMENT TO ANSWERING THE CALL TO PRIESTHOOD AND RELIGIOUS LIFE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH CONNIE FR.KIM GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FRANCISCAN B.V.M. PROVINCE.