Good morning … Great is His Faithfulness …
The Theophany of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
About the beginning of our Lord's thirtieth year, John the Forerunner, who was some six months older than Our Savior according to the flesh, and had lived in the wilderness since his childhood, received a command from God and came into the parts of the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance unto the remission of sins. Then our Savior also came from Galilee to the Jordan and sought and received baptism though He was the Master and John was but a servant. Whereupon there came to pass those marvelous deeds, great and beyond nature: the Heavens were opened, the Spirit descended in the form of a dove upon Him that was being baptized and the voice was heard from the Heavens hearing witness that this was the beloved Son of God, now baptized as a man (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:1-22). From these events the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the great mystery of the Trinity were demonstrated. It is also from this that the present feast is called "Theophany," that is, the divine manifestation, God's appearance among men. On this venerable day the sacred mystery of Christian baptism was inaugurated; henceforth also began the saving preaching of the Kingdom of the Heavens.
Gospel Reading from Mark 1:9-11
John Baptizes Jesus
9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up [a]from the water, He saw the heavens [b]parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Verse: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever.
The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
TITUS, my son, the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
3:5: THE WASHING OF REGENRATION, baptism, and RENEWING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, chrismation, form a unity in our salvation, this is so clear throughout the NT … Jesus taught that we are born from above through “water and the Spirit” – (John 3:5); Peter preached salvation in Christ through being “BAPTIZED” and receiving “the gift of the Holy Spirit” – (Acts 2:38) … Now Paul calls us to the washing of the water and the renewing of the Holy Spirit …
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless ONE is BORN of WATER and the SPIRIT, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the [a]remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.