January 2, 2018

Basil and Gregory

January 2, 2018:  SS. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen,
Bishops and Doctors

  • 'Children around the world' tie:  Children, remain in him (1st reading); All the ends of the earth have seen God's saving power (psalm)
  • NEW 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  Sing to the Lord a new song (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's right hand has won victory (psalm)
  • 'Christmas trees' suspenders, "No-'L'" button:  Christmas season continues through Jan. 8
  • Sandals (not shown):  "I'm unworthy to untie the sandal strap of the one coming after me" (gospel)

Pope Francis Angelus
Migrants and refugees, appeal to the international community not to extinguish your hopes or your expectations for peace.  All institutions, educational, welfare, and ecclesial bodies must ensure a future of peace for you.  When the shepherds visited the Child Jesus after the angels' announcement, Mary meditated deeply in her heart.  Her faith widens her motherhood and makes her her Son's first disciple.  This is an invitation for each of us to pray, contemplating and tasting the gift of Jesus.‎ 
Mary’s faith “provokes” the miracle of Cana, arousing the disciples' faith.  With that faith, at the foot of the Cross Mary receives the John as a ‎son, and after the Resurrection becomes a prayerful mother of the Church on which the ‎Spirit descends at Pentecost.‎  She intercedes for us in our privation, poverty, and suffering.  As a mother, she presents to her Son the needs of people, especially the weakest and most disadvantaged.  Peace is the right of all.  May we all work ‎generously to create a more supportive and welcoming ‎world.  Pray with Mary for the cause of migrants and refugees.
    1st reading:  Who's the liar?
    (not lyre; image is for psalm)
  • 1 Jn 2:22-28  Whoever denies Jesus as the Christ is a liar; whoever confesses the Son has the Father too.  If what you heard remains in you, you'll remain in the Son and the Father.  He teaches you about everything; remain in him.
  • Ps 98:1-4  "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God."  Sing to the Lord a new song; the Lord has made his justice, kindness, and faithfulness known.
  • Jn 1:19-28  When asked, “Who are you?” John admitted, “I'm not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet but one crying, ‘Make straight the Lord's way.’”  Pharisees / John:  “Then why do you baptize?” / “I baptize with water, but one is coming whose sandal I'm not worthy to untie.”

  • Creighton:  Deceit is part of human nature.  We live in a world filled with false and misleading information.  I recently learned about Adrienne von Speyr:  wife, mother, daughter, born into a Protestant family, convert, joyful adherent to church teaching, with an attitude of total surrender to truth.  An angel told her “the Jesuits loved Jesus totally, and God's truth was greater than men's, and you can't always tell people everything exactly as you understand it in God.” (First Glance).  Today is the feast of SS. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church.  The deceit of the day for them was Arianism.  Just as John the Baptist lived and breathed the truth of Christ, so did they....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Liars":  God asks, "Who is the liar?" and "Who are you?," questions that often go together.  Sometimes we lie about who we are.  We're tempted to give the impression we're the Messiah, but that's a lie.  We're also tempted to answer "Who are you?" with "what we do," but that's also a lie.  We sometimes answer "Who are you?" by putting ourselves down:  another lie.  If baptized, you're a child of the Father, a sibling of Jesus, a temple of the Spirit, a royal priesthood, purchased at the price of Jesus' blood.  You are holy, chosen, and beloved, destined for eternal life.
  • Passionist:  We start the new year with renewed expectations, hope, and optimism.  Today’s readings lay down a foundation for putting our faith into practice. From the 1st:  "If what you heard remains in you, you will remain in the Son and the Father.  And this is the promise he made: eternal life."  John begins with "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  The supreme work of sanctification and salvation is from the beginning.  We're born to continue the redemptive work begun in us at baptism.  We can bring God’s life into even our most distressing conditions.  When John the Baptist called people to conversion, he knew God was starting something new, though he didn't understand it:  "The one coming after me...."  We know who he is and have pledged to follow him.  Remember God has begun a transforming work in you....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Christ stands among you":  John the Baptist stirred the peoples' expectation of the Messiah's arrival, that many thought he might be the Messiah himself, or at least Elijah.  But he said he was only a voice bidding people to prepare the way for the Messiah.  He's the last Old Testament Prophet who points the way to the Messiah and the first New Testament witness, preparing the way for Jesus and announcing his mission as Lamb of God.  He saw the Messiah came to redeem us from sin and adopt us as God's children.  The Church has given John many titles:  Witness of the Lord, Trumpet of Heaven, Herald of Christ, Voice of the Word, Precursor of Truth, Friend of the Bridegroom, Crown of the Prophets, Forerunner of the Redeemer, Preparer of Salvation, Light of the Martyrs, and Servant of the Word.  Do I point others to Christ by my witness and example?  When the Lord's presence was revealed to Mary Elizabeth, John the Baptist, and Zechariah, they were all filled with the Spirit.  Lord, fill me with the Spirit and renew in me the gifts of faith, hope, and love, and the courage and boldness to point others to Christ.
  • Saint or seasoning?  Merriam-Webster shows both can be pronounced the same but prefers \ba-zəl\ (rhymes with 'dazzle') for the herb and \bā-zəl\ (rhymes with 'basal') for  the bishop
Universalis on the hermits made bishops

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