Monday, January 7, 2013


Tryptich of three Miracles
Yesterday we celebrated the feast of the Epiphany. The Magnificat Antiphon we sing at 2nd Vespers has always fascinated me as we are still celebrating the season of Christmas yet find ourselves with John the Baptist in the Jordan and at a wedding feast with the grown Jesus and His Mother.    

"We celebrate a festival adorned by three miracles: this day, a star led the Magi to the manger; this day, water was changed into wine at the marriage-feast; this day, Christ vouchsafed to be baptized by John in the Jordan, for our salvation. Alleluia."

And the Vesper's hymn,  written by the 5th  C. Christian poet, Cael­i­us Se­dul­i­us, echoes this theme of three miracles:

When Christ’s appearing was made known,
King Herod trembled for his throne;
But He Who offers heavenly birth
Sought not the kingdom of this earth.

The eastern sages saw from far
And followed on His guiding star;
By light their way to Light they trod,
And by their gifts confessed their God.

Within the Jordan’s sacred flood
The heavenly Lamb in meekness stood,
That He, to Whom no sin was known,
Might cleanse His people from their own.

And O what miracle divine,
When water reddened into wine!
He spake the word, and forth it flowed
In streams that nature ne’er bestowed.

Dr. He Qi

All glory, Jesus, be to Thee
For this Thy glad epiphany:
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost forevermore.

While it is pretty certain that all three events did not happen on January 6th, what the early Church was trying to convey was EPIPHANY (from a Greek verb meaning "to reveal,") and all of the various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany which are revelations of Christ to us. At the Nativity, the angels bear witness to Christ, and the shepherds, representing the people of Israel, bow down before Him; and at the visitation of the Magi, Christ's divinity is revealed to the Gentiles, the other nations of the earth. At Christ's Baptism, the Holy Spirit descends and the voice of God the Father is heard, declaring that Jesus is His Son. At the wedding in Cana, the beginning of His public ministry, the miracle reveals Christ's divinity.

10th Century


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