Addressing the faithful at the patriarchal cathedral in Bucharest on the feast of the Theophany of the Lord, Patriarch Daniel reflected on the connection between our baptism and the Baptism of the Lord.
Concelebrants for the January 6 Divine Liturgy included the patriarchal auxiliary bishops Varlaam of Ploiesti and Ieronim of Sinaia.
The Lord’s Baptism, a foundation for the baptism in the Church
‘Our Saviour Jesus Christ came with humility to the Jordan River to be baptized together with the sinners to take away the sin of the world, that is, the sin of the disobedience of our first parents Adam and Eve from which all the other sins of humankind derive,’ Patriarch Daniel said January 6.
After the Lord’s Baptism, Patriarch Daniel explained, something entirely new happened: ‘the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in a bodily form like a dove to point Him out from others.’
Since the entire Holy Trinity was made manifest at the Lord’s Baptism, the Patriarch of Romania said that ‘Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan River is the foundation of the Baptism of the church, of the Christian Baptism.’
‘It is through the Holy Spirit that we receive adoption through baptism, we are declared and we become sons and daughters of God the Father according to grace based on the faith in God the Son.’
Speaking of adoption, Patriarch Daniel noted that ‘Christian baptism not only gives the forgiveness of the ancestral sin and of personal sins, but also gives the adoption through the grace of the Holy Spirit, as well as the beginning of our resurrection from the death of sin as our preparation for the resurrection of the body on the latter day.’
Christian Baptism: Our entrance to the Kingdom of eternal love
‘Christian baptism is our entrance door to the Kingdom of the eternal love of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,’ Patriarch Daniel underscored.
That is why, we should pay a special attention to the mystery of baptism.
During his homily, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church also referred to the baptism of children and listed the duties parents and sponsors have before Christening children.
“When we baptize children, we must prepare ourselves with prayer, fasting, both the parents who gave birth to the children and the spiritual parents.”
“Baptismal sponsors have the moral duty to guide children to become good Christians, to pray for them, to instruct them and to remind them that they bear a Saint’s name.”
Following the Holy Baptism, although we do not see with the bodily eyes, the newly-baptized child is clothed with the light of the grace of Christ, Patriarch Daniel emphasized.
“Therefore, often after Baptism, the child is more peaceful, is sanctified, and blessed.”
Patriarch Daniel concluded that “in this relationship of love and eternal life, the newly baptized child is preparing to be an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven.