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The Holy Theophany of Our Lord

Let us venerate today the baptism of Christ…Wash yourselves and be clean. If you are scarlet with sin and no less bloody, be made white as snow; if you are red and men bathed in blood, yet be you brought to the whiteness of wool. Anyhow be purified and you shall be clean . . . that you may be like lights in the world, a quickening force to all other men; that you may stand as perfect lights beside that great Light, and may learn the mystery of the illumination of heaven, enlightened by the Trinity more purely and clearly, of which even now you are receiving in a measure the one ray from the one Godhead in Christ Jesus our Lord."

All the symbolism of today is thus explained to those who have faith and can understand that these things of hearing, touching, tasting, seeing, are figures of a higher world. To those who cease to be satisfied with material facts in them­selves comes a vision: the light shines into the world, the water cleanses and makes a brightness as of snow, the stony heart becomes a heart of flesh. Those that wash come seeing Christ.

By St. Gregory Nazianzus

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