Today Christ enters the waters of the Jordan to give us freedom from sin, His Beatitude Sviatoslav on the Feast of the Theophany

Today, on the day of the Lord's Theophany over the Jordan, the heavens are opened and the Good News is heard: “Are you seeking the truth? The truth itself comes to you today. Are you looking for good? Today Christ makes you capable of doing this good.” This was emphasized by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father and Head of the UGCC, in his sermon on the occasion of the Baptism of the Lord on January 19, 2021, during the service in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv.

Bishop Yosyf Milian, Auxiliary Bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy, Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, and Bishop Stepan Sus, Curial Bishop of the Kyiv-Halych Major Archbishopric of the UGCC, concelebrated the Liturgy with the Head of the Church. Priests of the Kyiv Archeparchy and the faithful also took part in the joint prayer.

“On the day of the Theophany of the Lord Christ, by celebrating the Feast, by the power and action of the Holy Spirit, we become participants in this event," said the Primate.

The Head of the Church noted that while listening to the Holy Gospel today, we observe a very strange thing. Among the sinners who came to repent, John sees the sinless Son of God standing among them. To his objection, John receives a profound answer from Christ: "In this way we will do all that God requires." Thus, says the preacher, John listens to Christ and at the time of His Baptism he sees the Theophany.

Christ is baptized to purify us. Christ receives baptism from a slave in order to set us free. Christ enters the waters of the Jordan to proclaim the victory over sin and its power over man. This is what the Theophany means!” explained the Father and the Head of the UGCC.

According to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, today it is important to remember the Old Testament event in which the Israelites renewed their covenant with God before entering the Promised Land. It was there, at the Jordan, that they realized that they could be free only if they obeyed God's law. In the history of the people of Israel, the Jordan was a rubicon of freedom.

According to the Primate of the UGCC, in today's world we feel a certain devaluation of truth. He noted that people often seek good, but do not know how to do it.

“Whenever we doubt and do not know how to distinguish truth from falsehood, we should ask the power of the Holy Spirit to send enlightenment upon us. If we feel that evil overcomes us, does not give us peace and the ability to do good, then we should go to the holy Sacrament of Repentance. There we will receive the purification that people sought when they came to the Jordan to ask for baptism for forgiveness,” encourages the Head of the UGCC.

The Primate wished the faithful to feel loved as sons and daughters of God. “Hear in your heart today: ‘Evil has no more power over you. You are free. You are my son. You are my beloved daughter. Today I pour out my favor and Jordan's blessing on you,’” concluded His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

After the Liturgy, His Beatitude Sviatoslav traditionally performed the Great Blessing of water on the Dnieper.

The UGCC Department for Information