Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Holy Water to Share on January 6, the Day of Jesus' Birth, the Day of Jesus' Baptism

Having been brought up poghokagan (Protestant), Marash Girl was not sure what to do when she, along with the rest of the congregation at St. James Armenian Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, was offered Holy Water on Armenian Christmas (which, it turns out, is the same day that the Baptism of Jesus is celebrated -- not sure if that's always the case on the Armenian church calendar, or just this year . . . pardon her ignorance)

And so dutifully, Marash Girl went up to the altar to accept her little plastic cup of holy water.

Her friend (Mr. A.) had told her to bring her own big bottle so that throughout the year, she could pass the blessed water around to the ailing, but  not having been brought up in the tradition, and not wanting to appear greedy, she had neglected to bring her own bottle.  Mr. A   insisted that Marash Girl take at least two of the small containers.  Marash Girl wondered why, and was not sure, but she did so, somewhat guiltily, as she didn't want to be selfish.  Immediately upon carrying her two small containers out of the church, Marash Girl met a long time friend, a friend whose husband has been ailing for years.  Marash Girl immediately handed her friend a container of holy water.  Her friend's eyes filled with tears.  "I didn't have time to stand in line with the hundreds of people . . . I have to get to work . . . You don't know how much this means to me. . ."

Now Marash Girl understands: she will know in the future to gather holy water to share; that rather than taking more than her share, her share is to share!


  1. there is a story in the Gospels of St. Peter entering the gates of Jerusalem, after being empowered by the Holy Spirit, i.e., being given the 'keys to the kingdom', keys that are available to all supplicants, but received by few because of the ignorance of the many, when he is assailed by a cripple begging for alms. alms, as we know, is money. St. Peter turned to the cripple and said to him, 'silver and gold have i not, but what i do have i give to you freely. rise up and be healed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ'. the man received the blessing/healing, rose up and was healed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Up until that moment, the crippled man could think only within the confines of the limitations the world had placed on him, the limitations of being born into a fallen world, and birthed with a crippled body. he could only think that money was the answer to his problems, a thought shared by most of us who strive in this fallen world. but peter understood, because he had been taught by the Lord, that the world is what it is because it is in the grip of The Fallen One, The Fallen Angel. the charge given to the disciples after the anointing with the Holy Spirit was to break down the gates of Hell, which included the casting out of unclean spirits (demonic), and the healing of the infirm, all products of The Fall. Peter did not have what the world divined as the currency of wellness, but what he did have, he gave freely. and that is the key point here, what he did have he gave freely. it is key only when one realizes that what he did have was what the 'world' did not and could not have to offer. what he had and what he gave freely was what had been given him upon being baptised in the Holy Spirit, and being given the keys to the Kingdom, to wit: what you bind on earth you bind in heaven, what you loose on earth you loose on heaven. filled up by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he had bound the evil spirit on earth and on heaven, and had loosed the Holy Spirit on earth and in heaven. May we all go and do likewise.

  2. that story of the cripple begging for alms is a metaphor of the world after The Fall.