Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen
Bishops and Doctors of the Church
In this last week of Christmas Time, our readings give us an opportunity to reflect on the Christ and two who dedicated their later years to writing, teaching, and preaching about God among us, human and divine. To our modern ears, it seems odd to hear scripture (1 John 2:22-28) say that we are not to be liars and Christ-deniers. Yet, in the early years after the death of Christ, folks grappled with the Incarnation-mystery and their witness to it.
We still grapple in our modern world as more folks choose not to be part of an organized religion. Some surveys report that the largest group of people are the “nones,” that is, people who define themselves with no religious affiliation. This is sad, especially when in our own families, we have members who, even raised with a Catholic education, deny God in their lives and choose not to acknowledge Christ by living their baptismal discipleship.
What are we to do? How can we witness Christ? Like John the Baptist, we can only point the way to the one who saves and walks with us. We can only point to the one who we were baptized into, who transformed our lives in that initiation to become a Eucharistic witness of faith.
Perhaps a New Year’s resolution for us would be to engage in a gentle conversation with one of our loved ones, share the meaning of the faith and Eucharist in your life, and invite them to join you for Mass and a meal.
Times are changing, with the pendulum swinging in a problematic direction for Christian disciples. What can I do to live the creed, crafted by these saints of old, to be the holy one of God now?
O God of great mystery and beauty, your followers cry out for assistance and care in living our faith and allowing others to join us in love. May the ends of the earth revere and seek your grace and will enable us to remain faithful to your service so that all may come to know the joys of being together in the Body of Christ. Through Christ our Lord.