A Theophany Within

Do you ever ask: "If Jesus is who He says He is, why don't I see Him more clearly?" Saint Thomas had the same doubts when his brother disciples told him that Jesus had resurrected. Jesus heard his plea and answered it: "Then He (Jesus) said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands, and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing...Thomas answered Him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (St. John 20:27-28).

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The Orthodox Sacred Tradition of Holy Water (Part III)

After the Epistle (Letter) of Saint Paul (1 Corinthians 10:1-4) is read about the mystical prototype baptism of the Judeans unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and of their spiritual food in the desert and the spiritual drink from the Rock, which is an image of the Coming of Jesus Christ. Finally, the Gospel Lesson of Saint Mark (Mark 1:9-12) is read in which the holy Apostle tells about the actual Baptism of the Lord.

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The Orthodox Sacred Tradition of Holy Water (Part II)

“A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.' For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, 'How is it that You, being a Jew ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?' For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?' Jesus answered and said to her, 'whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (St. John  "4:10-14).

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Preparing for the Great Feast of Theophany

On January 6th our Holy Orthodox Christian Church celebrates the Great Feast of the Theophany of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. This is one of the greatest of the Christian year and is in a class with Pascha and Nativity. In English, we are accustomed to hearing this Feast called "The Epiphany," a word which means "manifestation." On this day, the Holy Orthodox Church celebrates the remembrance of the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan at the hands of Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner. Because of the great significance of the Holy Feast, the day before (The Eve of the Feast, January 5th), is kept as a vigil, with a strict fast.

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January 1-Feast of Saint Basil the Great

Saint Basil, preeminent among hierarchs, wisest of saintly teachers, and wondrous favorite of God, was born in Cappadocia toward the end of the Great Constantine's reign. His father was also named Basil, and his mother, Emmelia. He learned to read at the age of seven, and progressed so rapidly in his studies that five years later he was already engaged in philosophical inquiry. Eventually, he forsook his homeland and moved to Athens, the fount of Hellenic (Greek) wisdom, where he took lessons with the renowned teacher Evvulus, at the same time visiting the schools of Hemerius and Proeresius.

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January 1-The Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord

Eight (8) days after His Nativity, our Lord Jesus Christ deigned to be circumcised. He submitted to circumcision, first of all, to fulfill the Law. "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law", said He; "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (St. Matthew, Ch. 5). He subjected Himself to the Law to free transgressors subject to the Law, as the holy Apostle teaches: When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, to redeem them that were under the Law" (Galatians, Ch. 4).

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