The dictionary tells us that an epiphany is, “… a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being [or] a moment of sudden revelation or insight.” Only two days after the celebration of the Christmas epiphany, it seems appropriate that God in both Christ his Son and, God the Holy Spirit would also have an epiphany of their own.
In today’s gospel we hear one of the very profound moments in Christ’s life which also sets up one of the sacraments of our faith through his baptism by John in the River Jordan we hear that,
“On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.””
It was through this moment that two very profound things happened. Firstly, there is a physical descension of the Holy Spirit from the heavens down to Jesus in which he is anointed by the holy spirit, it is then that Christ himself has his moment of revelation or epiphany when his father reminds him that he is his son in whom he is pleased.
Though we are not without sin as Christ was, we are all his children, his flock and whether we are lost or found, once we are baptized as Christ was baptized we are filled with the holy spirit whose amazing grace fills us we were, “…blind but now [we] see.” it is through our baptism that God claims us as his own in whom he is please and through Jesus’ grace and redemption all our imperfections are made clean.
Whether we are blessing ourselves with holy water, or a priest is aspersing us to remind us of our baptismal promise, remember that as Christ was claimed by God the father that day so are we as baptized Christians claimed as a part of Christ’s flock and are heirs to his eternal kingdom. Let us also remember that we have the holy spirit dwelling within us and as Christians it is our duty to let that light shine to others so that they may find their way back to the father. May we as Christians help others to find their light so that they can experience the grace of the Holy Trinity through their own epiphany at baptism and so that they can become united with Christ at his holy table during the eucharist.
As a Dominican our order was founded on preaching the good news so that we may bring people back to God. Sometimes in the scary world we live in today it is hard to keep your light shining; Christian or not sometimes it seems like everyone and everything in this world is out there to tear us down (especially this past year) but if you remember the second verse of the Sunday school song, we must remember, “don’t let Satan blow it out, let it shine!” As we move into this new year let us not only brighten our own lights through prayer and devotion to our Lord, let us also help those who are lost be found, and those that are blind see, so that they can receive the Holy Spirit into their hearts like a Dove and share their light with other shadowed souls of the world.
Let us reflect on the importance of our baptism through praying the asperges me Antiphon.
Thou wilt sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop and I shall be cleansed
Thou wilt wash me, and I shall be washed whiter than snow.
Pity me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.