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. Jan 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

The Memorial of St Basil the great and St Gregory Nazianzen

1 Jn 2:22-28, Jn 1:19-28. By his preaching of repentance, John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. In today's Gospel, John is called the “precursor ”, describing his unique role in the story of our salvation. In order to prepare to be a spiritual guide for others, he was drawn by the Holy Spirit to an austere and contemplative life style, that had to do with living in the desert of Judea from his youth until his early manhood. At that stage he began his public mission as a preacher of repentance and renewal to his Jewish people. Clothed in a rough penitential garb of camel-skin, he announced the grace of God to all who came to him in search of repentance and who went down into the waters of baptism for the washing away of their sins. He showed them simple ordinary ways to serve God in their daily lives and proclaimed the imminent coming of the Messiah, who would pour out God’s Spirit more richly upon them.

To the official leaders of Judaism, the Priests and the Pharisees, John seemed more a threat than a blessing. Their resistance to a message requiring moral and spiritual renewal made them unable to hear the divine guidance in his words. Today, we are challenged to live a life which gives testimony to Jesus as the Saviour of the World. We must let people experience the Good News of Jesus by the way we treat them. St Basil, whose memorial we celebrate today, was aware of this as he lived a simple, monastic life of prayer and reflection, but was called upon to defend the truths of Christianity. St Gregory Nazianzen similarly also worked hard in combatting the same heresies in his See of Constantinople and beyond and helped to strengthen the theological discourse and teachings of the true faith together with Basil and other holy fathers of the Church. They laboured hard against those false prophets and leaders and following in the footsteps of the Apostles, continued to strengthen the foundations of the Church.

May the Lord help us to profess Jesus as the Christ who came to us to save us and bring us into a closer relationship with God! Amen!! Keep safe and have a pleasant weekend!!!

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