The Baptism of Christ
Homily of Augustine on Psalm XCVI
Home Second Sunday after Epiphany
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Archbishop Cranmer translated this from Latin. Originally a prayer for outward peace.
In the Early Church, the birth of Christ, the Magi visit, and Baptism were all celebrated on the 6th. The Protestant Episcopal Church moved the baptism Gospel to the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, to remember this event during Epiphanytide and so we have it here today. The Lutheran Church remembers the Baptism on Third Sunday after Christmas. The Latin Church remembers it on the First Sunday after Epiphany. The Orthodox Church continues to celebrate the Baptism on the Theophany, 6 January, with the visit of the Magi. Theophany literally means "Manifestation of God".
...."Ascribe unto the Lord glory unto His Name". Not unto the name of man, not unto your own name, but unto His ascribe worship.... Confession is a present unto God. O heathen, if ye will enter into His courts, enter not empty. "Bring presents." What presents shall we bring with us? The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, "O God, shalt not Thou despise." Enter with an humble heart into the house of God, and thou hast entered with a present.
I think in this Epiphanytide of the fulfillment of this prophecy by our Lord personally, beginning with his Epiphany to the Gentiles as an infant, when wise men came and brought valuable gifts suitable for a king. I think of his revelation to selected Roman centurions (Capernaum and Calvary) during his earthly ministry, and their gifts rendered unto him of a troubled spirit, a humble and contrite heart, and acknowledgement of this Jewish teacher as Lord and Master, the Son of God and the Just Man. We remember that after his resurrection the manifestations continued both in person, and by signs-foremost with the of the conversion of Saint Paul as the minister to the Gentiles (celebrated next week Sunday). Also to Cornelius the Centurion who became the bishop of Caesarea, and in latter days to Constantine-Caesar, and then to the host of his saints through the ages. Finally, to us in this little part of the Church
Released by Primus Pilus
HQ, Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]
* ORDO CENTURIONUM * IN HOC SIGNO VINCES * TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM