At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, worship of the Trinity was revealed, for the Father’s voice bore witness to You, call You His “beloved son” and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God, Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory be to You.
This weekend continues our celebration of the feast of Theophany. It is perhaps the greatest of the various manifestations God has made of Himself to humankind. It is the event that began Jesus’ ministry and, since we see Him as our Teacher and Master, we embrace with faith what it reveals to us.
What does it reveal? It reveals to us that God, when he created humanity, did have an understanding of how humans should think and behave in order to understand the meaning and purpose of life on earth. It did reveal that this earthly existence is, in effect, a place where we can learn how to be spiritual, human beings.
How do we know this? Our reading today from St. Matthew’s Gospel states this: From that time on Jesus began to proclaim this theme: “Reform your lives! The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” So our earthly existence is all about learning how to be the spiritual-human beings that God intended when He created us.
This idea is reinforced by the message we receive from Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. He states: Each of us has received God’s favor in the measure in which Christ bestows it….till we become one in faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son.” When we become one in faith and knowledge of God’s Son, we begin to understand how to live and learn how to be God’s children. God the Father called Jesus, the God-man, His beloved Son. In saying this God revealed to us that we humans are His beloved children – sons and daughters – and He has brought us into existence at this time in order to: (1) complete His creation, and (2) allow us the greatest opportunity to spiritually grow.
It is my sincerest belief that each of us is born at a particular point in time and have certain people enter into our life for the purpose of helping us spiritually develop our ability to be God’s children.
In the Divine Liturgy we articulate our understanding that God the Father so loved His world that He gave His Son so that the whole divine plan concerning us could be completed. The whole divine plan concerning us is this: We are given various opportunities in life and various people in order to help us come to a true understanding of the meaning and purpose of life. We believe that God wills all of us to come to the fullness of life and we believe that He has done everything possible, even coming into the world in the Person of His Son Jesus, to help us come to this understanding. His only desire is that we might come to know Him as our loving and caring Father.