REFLECTION FOR THE MEMORIAL OF STs. BASIL THE GREAT AND GREGORY NAZIANZEN.
THEME: JESUS IS THE CHRIST.
BY: Fr Francis Onwunali
HOMILY FOR JANUARY 2ND.
St. Basil was a brilliant student born of a Christian family in Caesarea, Cappadocia (Turkey). For some years, he followed the monastic way of life. He vigorously fought the Arian heresy. He became Bishop of Caesarea in 370. St. Gregory was also from Cappadocia. A friend of Basil, he too followed the monastic way of life for some years. He was ordained priest and in 381 became Bishop of Constantinople. It was during this period when the Arian heresy was at its height. He was called “The Theologian” because of his great learning and talent for oratory.
In our liturgy today, we hear John speaking to us in both readings about the person of Jesus who is the Christ- Messiah, the Anointed One. Our identity should be defined by our relationship with Christ. Jesus should not be given a “silent treatment” in our lives, rather our lives should speak eloquently of our oneness with Christ.
RELATED: HOMILY FOR JANUARY 2ND
In the first reading (1 John 2: 22-28), John reminds us that we as Christians should believe in the One who is the Christ and as such enter into a relationship with Him. If anyone does not profess Jesus as the Christ, then such person is a lair.
In the gospel (John 1: 19-28), John the Baptist asserts that he is not the Christ when he was asked of his identity, nor is he Elijah or any of the Prophets but only a voice preparing the way for One who is mightier than he is, Jesus the Christ. John identified himself according to his relationship with Christ. Is who you are based on your relationship with Christ?
Dear friends, the lives of Sts. Basil and Gregory of Nazianzen, bishops and doctors of the Church, whose feast we celebrate today, speak volumes on the defence of the truth of Christianity. Basil, through his reflections and prayers was able to proclaim that Jesus is God incarnate, fully human and fully divine. He actively fought against the Arian heresy.
I pray as we journey joyously into the new year, we will seek to know more of our faith and be fully informed to proclaim to the world that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah who has come to redeem us so that we may have life and have it to the full (Jn. 10:10). Let us remember the words of Christ: anyone who confesses me before men, I will confess him before my Father in heaven. Have a faith-full day!
Fr Francis Onwunali.
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