Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Eastern Epiphany

"Lord, every nation on earth will adore you." Ps 72

Some Eastern churches when speaking of the Epiphany refer not to the visit of the Magi, but to the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, and insist that it is a feast even more important than Christmas.

St Proclus of Constantinople says it this way:
On the feast of the Savior’s birth, the earth rejoiced because it bore the Lord in a manger; but on today’s feast of the Epiphany it is the sea that is glad and leaps for joy; the sea is glad because it receives the blessing of holiness in the river Jordan. (Epiphany)
What a powerful image. Proclus asserts that the river Jordan leaps for joy because the Messiah has entered and transformed it. All creation has been affirmed as holy and, like Mary, full of grace. St. Proclus would have us entertain the idea that the river Jordan is pregnant with the Christ who will break its waters and emerge to begin his ministry of hope and salvation.

It is important for us not to be afraid to let our minds and spirits soar when trying to articulate what it is that God has done for us by sending us his beloved son. All that is has been confirmed in goodness and holiness. Otherwise, it would be impossible for God to come among us. God cannot enter evil. God can only inhabit good. The Jordan river is holy and good forever by the gift of Christ's baptismal bath.

Today, set your spirit free to dream of new ways to imagine God's love for all that is.

Does the created world lead you into God?

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