Romanian Patriarch Daniel addressed the faithful present at the Patriarchal Cathedral for the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Theophany, Jan. 6 that life in the Heavenly Kingdom begins on earth once with Holy Baptism. ‘Eternal life begins in this world when we unite through the grace of Holy Baptism with the Eternal Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’
The Patriarch of Romania noted that ‘Baptism means not only forgiveness of sins, but also the beginning of a new, heavenly life – the eternal life, a life of the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in which we are incorporated.’
The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church referred to the Epiphany hymn All you who have been baptised into Christ, have put on Christ, noting that ‘its meaning is spiritual, not material.’ The hymn ‘means that you have put on the grace brought by Christ through which the love of God the Father is made manifest and the presence and the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit is offered.’
When we are baptized, the Patriarch said that we put on ‘the light of the grace of the All-Holy Trinity, in Christ’s love, Christ’s holiness, Christ’s eternal life. That is why Holy Baptism is the provision of eternal life,’ His Beatitude said.
‘When we put on Christ, we put on eternal life,’ the Patriarch added.
Today You have shown forth to the world, O Lord, and the light of Your countenance has been marked on us. Knowing You, we sing Your praises. You have come and revealed Yourself, O unapproachable Light.https://t.co/ip0XasW0vL pic.twitter.com/1XjmWXrkTg
— Basilica.ro (EN) (@BasilicaNews) 6 ianuarie 2018
Patriarch Daniel offered his reflections during the Theophany Divine Liturgy celebrated on Saturday at the Patriarchal Cathedral. Concelebrants for the Liturgy included:
- His Grace Bishop Qais of Erzurum (Antioch Patriarchate)
- His Grace Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti, Secretary of the Holy Synod
- His Grace Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop Ieronim of Sinaia
- His Grace Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest Timotei of Prahova
In his homily, Patriarch Daniel focused on the difference between John’s baptism and Christian Baptism, noting that the baptism performed by John the Forerunner was unto repentance as a preparatory state before receiving forgiveness of since. However, forgiveness is received through Christian Baptism performed in the name of the All-Holy Trinity.
‘This is the novelty,’ the patriarch said, ‘that right after the baptism of repentance, i.e. John’s baptism, the path to a new Baptism is opened, the water Baptism in the Holy Spirit.’
The Patriarch pointed to the fact that Christ’s Baptism into Jordan is ‘the foundation of Christian Baptism,’ which is the beginning of man’s graceful adoption in the Holy Spirit and the beginning of man’s resurrection from death caused by sin.
‘Through water Baptism in the Holy Spirit,’ the Romanian Patriarch added, ‘we receive not only remission of the original sin and of personal sins, but also the grace of adoption. Jesus Christ is the Son of God according to his nature, while we are God’s sons and daughters through Baptism according to the grace of adoption.’
His Beatitude continued saying that ‘through Baptism we receive the provision or the grace of resurrection through the action of the Holy Spirit: the grace of spiritual resurrection from death caused by sin and the grace of preparation for the Universal resurrection at the end of ages.’
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Patriarch Daniel performed the rite of the Great blessing of Water.
Photo courtesy of Robert Nicolae/Basilica.ro