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Message by His Eminence Metropolitan Ignatius of Demetrias, on the occasion of the Epiphany 2016

Tuesday, 5 January, 2016

"When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest"


   Dear Fathers, my beloved children,

Today's feast of Epiphany is a glorious celebration. Heavens commune with Earthly life and our salvation mystery is being revealed in its entirety. In Jordan River Jesus is being revealed as Messiah, as God's son, coming to start his teaching and soteriological work. However, as we chant in the celebration's recessional, thanks to the Baptism, we have the first revelation of all mysteries, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest.

     God the Trinity is a mystery, not because it is something hidden but because it exceeds human mind, since it is not possible to explain in a rational way that God is simultaneously one and three persons. However, this is the core of Christian faith. First of all God is the Father. He is the one who gives birth to the Son. He is the one from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds. God, in whom we trust, is not a solitary, self-referring God, isolated in His perfection. He is One God and simultaneously Three Persons, sharing the divine spirit in a loving communion.

     "God is love'', according to John the evangelist. Since God is love, He is at the same time communion because there is no love that cannot be communed, that cannot be shared. The Fathers of our Church, Saint Basil the Great especially, underline the fact that God exists as a communion of Persons. God's existence coincides with the communion of the three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The person of the Father cannot exist without the Son and the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Persons of the Trinity co-exist without any temporal precedence.

In the Baptism of our Lord, we can see the Three Holy persons united into one because the Trinity's power is always indivisible and shared with the world. God the Father proclaims Jesus to be His Beloved Son and asserts that it is according to His will that the world must be saved. The Holy Spirit rests on Jesus and makes him Christ, which means the "Chosen one". In other words, the manifestation of the One and only God is the work of all the Three Persons.

The Church is considered to be an image of the Holy Trinity. Firstly, because it is the Trinity's work and, secondly, because it is called to reflect the communion of the Three Holy Persons, thus preserving its unity. In our local Church, we all strive to be what we have been called upon, which is to show people that the Church of God is a combination of persons and love, in resemblance to God Himself. I praise Him for allowing me to be in charge of an active, local Church, the members of which try very hard to realize in their lives a sense of «communion», in the theological  meaning of the word as described above.

For this reason, I wish, this year again, to thank and praise all of you, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, beginning with our most trustworthy priests and their assistants. We owe special acknowledgment, of course, to the devout volunteer ladies who embody, on a daily basis, Christian love in the Houses of Christ's Peace but also the volunteers of the Love funding and all the other charity members of our Metropolis in their common effort to let no one feel lonely and estranged from our community.

Today, in Jordan, the Holy Trinity was manifested to us. But let us not limit ourselves to the worship. Our task is to manifest the community through communion. This will be our most useful witness in these days of intolerance, fanaticism and hatred.


May your lives be blessed !