Holy Water: Use It or Lose It.
This past Monday, we celebrated the Feast of Epiphany, or as it is more theologically correctly called, Theophany. We celebrate the gathering of the Church together to witness the Baptism of Jesus Christ and the manifestation of the Holy Trinity when He emerged from the water of the Jordan River.
After the Divine Liturgy, I, your priest, performed a special rite of the Blessing of the Waters and prayed to God the words of Sophronios, Patriarch of Jerusalem: "Today the streams of the Jordan are changed into healing waters by the presence of the Lord."
We prayed that "today," just as He did nearly 2,000 years ago, He sanctify the water that we had set before us in the font. We believe these sanctified waters are to be used, sprinkled or drunk, for the healing of our souls and bodies and for every need.
The final prayer says, "…for those who pour or partake of the holy water, that they may receive it for the cleansing of soul and body, for healing of suffering, for the sanctification of homes, and for every need."
Upon leaving the service, we all took a bottle of this holy water home to bless ourselves and our homes. I wonder, how many of us had holy water bottles from last year untouched, unused, left on the shelf or icon stand. I wonder if we will have the faith to use the water for every need. I wonder, when we had the flu or a cold, did we run to the medicine cabinet, past the icon stand with the holy water, to take a pill. I wonder if we considered sprinkling a little holy water on and in our cars before we embarked on a trip asking God for a blessed and safe travel. I wonder, did we enter our homes and neglect to sprinkle in every room (or better still, invite the priest to come, enter and bless your home). I wonder if we have faith strong enough to utilize this great sanctification of our world through Jesus Christ our Lord.