“Let us keep the pristine white baptismal robes we received during our Baptism,” said Archbishop Makarios of Australia in his homily on the Feast of the Epiphany.
The Archbishop of Australia presided over the Divine Liturgy in an atmosphere charged with emotion at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Sydney on the 6th of January 2021. He also presided over the Great Blessing of the Waters service and addressed the faithful. In particular, he spoke about the history and meaning of the Feast of the Epiphany, which is the last of the feasts of the Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide.
Moreover, he recalled that on the day of the Epiphany the Orthodox Church celebrated the first revelation of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity before humans. This event occurred during the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.
He also referred to the Sacrament of Baptism, which marks the entry of every believer into the Church. On the day of Baptism, he explained, a rebirth of humans takes place and, therefore, their sinful past is gone. It is as if they opened a new page in their lives. “That is why every person who is baptised, then dresses in a pristine white robe,” he said, “because the white colour marks the new beginning in their lives, following the Baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity.”
He added that all people made mistakes and sins throughout their lives and, as a result, they soiled the white robe that they wore after their Baptism. “The Church invites us through the sacraments and through confession to renew our Baptism so as to always be cleansed and blessed as we were that very first day of our Baptism,” he pointed out. “So, when the time comes, we will be able to leave Earth, put on the white robe and appear before Christ. We will tell Christ that we had loved Him during our lives. Even though we had weaknesses, we made mistakes and we committed sins, we constantly asked for His Mercy and Forgiveness. We will beg Him to ignore our mistakes, our failures and our sins and to pay attention to our struggle and our willingness to remain close to Him by becoming a part of His Kingdom,” he stressed.
At the end of his homily, the Archbishop wished everyone all the best and hoped that they would all have the enlightenment of God in their lives. “The Great Blessing of the Waters service is an occasion for all of you to be blessed all as well. May God bless you and enlight you!” he added.