By fire and the Spirit, You wash away the sin of the world. When the Baptist saw You coming, he was afraid. He trembled and cried out, saying: “I dare not hold Your spotless head. Sanctify me with Your Epiphany, O Master Who love mankind!”
Let us imitate the wise virgins, let us go and meet the Master Who appears; like a bridegroom He comes forth to John. Seeing You the Jordan holds back in fear. John cries out: “I dare not hold Your immortal head.” The Spirit comes down in the form of a dove to sanctify the waters. And a voice from heaven resounds: “This is My Son, Who comes to the world to save the human race.” O Lord, glory to You!
Christ is baptized. He comes up from the water. With Himself He raises up the world. He sees the heavens opened which Adam had shut against Himself and His posterity. The Spirit affirms the divinity, since He rushes to join One Who is also divine. A voice comes from heaven, for from heaven comes the One Whom the Spirit affirms: He is the Savior of our souls.
Touching Your spotless head, the hand of the Baptist trembled. Not daring to minister to You, the river Jordan turned back. Since it stood in awe of Joshua, the son of Nun, How could it not fear You, his Maker? But You, our Savior, fulfilled Your plan to save the world by Your Epiphany, O God Who love mankind.
Today creation is enlightened. Today all things rejoice, in heaven and on earth together. Angels and people join forces, for where the King is present His army must be. Therefore let us all run to the Jordan! Let us see how John baptizes the sinless brow of One not made by human hands! Let us in unison join in the Apostle’s song: “The grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all, shining on the faithful and granting them great mercy.