January 2 – Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
1 John 2:22:28
Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
Still seeking comfort and joy
During these days in the early part of 2016, many people are advised to plan and look ahead, make resolutions, and a fresh start of things. I’m very much in favor of that, but I’d like to add something to this.
In our first reading, the evangelist John reminds the congregation to “let what you heard from the beginning remain in you”. It’s a chance to look back. Everything old or in the past has not been trash. There are things we learned from, even some lessons that we would never have chosen on our own. Yet most of all, as we continue this year of mercy, let us remember family and friends who have been good to us. They have taught us about God and exemplified God’s love and mercy. We’re not where we are today because of our own power. And even if some people have let you down, let us remember that God has been with you, guiding you along the way.
This is also true of the Gospel passage wen John the Baptist is interrogated by the priests and Levites. He was ready for the questions they brought because of his reflection and conviction that God was at work in his life and was present. He knew that he was taking a chance and was on the edge of religious observance, by baptizing in the Jordan. Yet he did. Surely he had heard the story of his miraculous birth from his parents and neighbors. If this was his calling, he would live it wholeheartedly, unless God told him otherwise.
What about us? Are we making New year resolutions or acts of faith in God’s presence and providence in our life for 2016? Let us imitate John the Baptist, Basil, and Gregory’s faith and action to proclaim God’s love and mercy in our lives.