His Beatitude Sviatoslav: The purpose of Epiphany is forgiveness of man's sins

Tuesday, 21 January 2020, 10:58
The Lord declares the truth about God and ourselves, because the Most High is our Creator and Savior. Heavenly Father will never leave us alone in sin. He always gives us a chance.
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The Father and Head of the UGCC emphasized this in his sermon to the faithful on Sunday, January 19, 2020, during worship at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection in Kyiv on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The Primate was joined by Bishop Bohdan Dzurakh, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, Bishop Stepan Sus, and Bishop Manuel Nin, the Apostolic Exarch to Greece of the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church. Priests of the Kyiv Archeparchy and numerous faithful also participated in the prayer.

According to the preacher, now the Church of Christ is celebrating one of the greatest Christian holidays - Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord in the waters of the Jordan.

"Today, we ponder the questions: How and why is God revealed on this very day, for what purpose is He appearing over the Jordan? From the Gospel of Matthew we receive short and concise answers: 'Christ comes to the Jordan to John.' We see that John was scared by this event ... He says, 'I need to be baptized by you, and here you come to me?'

Christ receives baptism. John sees the open sky, the Spirit of God, which goes downwards in the form of a dove, and hears the voice of the Father: 'This is My beloved Son, in whom is My favor.' The Epiphany that John saw is the first and most important in the New Testament. It changes forever the conception of man about the Almighty. He saw God diminishing Himself in front of people, even more, taking on our sins," said the spiritual leader of the Greek Catholics.

According to him, God takes upon Himself the sins of each person in order to purify him and reveal the truth about him.

"In this Epiphany, John saw the truth about himself, about the meaning of his life. He realized that his baptism did not forgive sins, and the water with which he washed the sinners was only a confession of truth about the person. John sees that now is the time when the remission of sins will be possible, for the One who will baptize not with water but with the Holy Spirit and fire has come. The Baptist saw the moment when the Holy Spirit reveals the only strong Son of God," said the Head of the UGCC.

And later he added: "The purpose of Epiphany is to forgive a person for his sins. The truth which God reveals to him in this holiday is sanctifying to man."

"The present holiday is not a remembrance of an ancient event, but an opportunity by the power and action of the Holy Spirit to become a participant in this event. We can experience the Epiphany now. This is the Savior coming down to us here. John calls us to repent, turn away from evil, and acknowledge our infirmity before the Almighty. The Lord declares the truth about God and ourselves. The truth about God is that God is our Creator and Savior. He will never leave us alone in sin. He comes to take on our sins, to stand in the waters of the Jordan near us, and to give us a chance. And the truth about me is that God made us to be His beloved sons and daughters, to share His glory with Him in eternity," said the Archbishop.

The Primate wished all those present in the church to feel beloved sons and daughters of God: "Today God gives a special answer. We are the beloved children to whom God bestowed dignity. Let us not let anything or anyone humiliate it… We have been freed from all the evil that burdens us to hear the words of God the Father: "You are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter, in whom I am pleased."

Finally, His Beatitude Sviatoslav traditionally consecrated water in the Dnieper.

The UGCC Department for Information

 


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