On 12 January 2013, the Sunday after the Baptism of the Lord, the Evangelical pericope presenting us the Beginning of the Lord’s preaching, according to Saint Evangelist Matthew, chapter 4:12-17, was read in all the places of worship of the Romanian Patriarchate. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delivered a sermon in the chapel of Saint Gregory the Enlightener of the Patriarchal Residence, in which he showed the teaching shown in the evangelical fragment.
It is a Gospel fragment that leads the people to the Kingdom of God: Repent, because the Kingdom of Heaven is coming near. The great light revealed to the people who were in the darkness and to those who were in the side and shadow of the death is Christ. When Christ becomes the light of our life, our entire being is illuminated, as well as all the activities around and whole peoples, Christian peoples who gave lots of saints. There are peoples who integrated, interiorised the light of Christ through baptism, repentance, and good deeds, so that people illuminated from every people have become saints. The beauty of the Church consists just in the fact that various peoples reached holiness through their saints and this is the glory that the peoples and nations will take to the Kingdom of Heaven”, His Beatitude said.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also emphasised the relationship between the Mystery of Baptism and the Evangelical Pericope read today showing that Lots of gifts are given to the baptised one which must be made fruitful through the man’s cooperation with the grace of God.
“We have a deep relationship between Gospel, which begins with the call to repentance and to the Mystery of Baptism. And the light of Baptism of Christ and of the Christian Baptism means our progress to the Kingdom of the eternal love of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Baptism is a programme, it is light for life, and the beginning of the Christian life as life of eternal relationship of love with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thus, through Baptism we start living the heavenly life, higher than the earthly one ever since our life on the earth. This offering of the grace of the Holy Baptism is the expression of the love of the Most Holy Trinity for humans. The Baptism as programme of spiritual growth is a baptism of man’s cooperation with God. Lots of gifts are given to the baptised one which must be made fruitful through the man’s cooperation with the grace of God because God wants man to bring his freedom in this spiritual growth, to grow spiritually in the relationship with God, but right of his own will, not by force. The people who fructified or made the baptism fruitful in the fullest sense of the word are the saints. This is why the saints are painted with a halo around their heads showing that the grace of the Baptism was made fruitful and that all their life and being was illuminated with the light of the Baptism which is not sunshine, but inner light from the Holy Spirit. This light is the glory of the love of the Most Holy Trinity shared to the people according to the intensity of their faith, endeavour, effort, fasting, prayers and to the good deeds they did”, the Patriarch of Romania also explained.
Next Sunday, the Orthodox Church will be on the 29th Sunday after the Pentecost.