Today, on Bright Monday, we read how Saint John the Forerunner bears witness to Jesus Christ. He is well aware that the One he is proclaiming someone great, someone whose sandal he is not worthy to untie. He is proclaiming the One whom Saint Paul refers to as ‘the mystery hidden for ages and generations.’ (Colossians 1:26) Saint Ambrose of Milan writes,
The Word of God is in the bosom of the Father, that is, in the hidden and secret places of God. The fountain of wisdom is there, and from it one may drink the everlasting drink of eternal life in place of death.
At Pascha we re-live and celebrate the fact that this eternal Word of God has recreated all things in His death and resurrection. And therefore we are able to sing,
Come let us drink a new drink, not one marvelously brought forth from a barren rock, but a Source of incorruption, which pours out from the tomb of Christ, in whom we are established.
Now all things have been filled with light, both heaven and earth and those beneath the earth; so let all creation sing Christ’s rising, by which it is established.
The Holy Gospel according to Saint John 1:18-28:
No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.” They said to him then, “Who are you? let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, ” I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordon, where John was baptizing.