Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saints Basil and Gregory, Bs, Ds
(Weekday of the Christmas Season) (2nd January, 2016)

1Jn 2:22-28;
Ps 97:1-4. (R. v. 3)
Jn 1:19-28.

Saint Basil and Saint Gregory had a lot in common. They were born about the year 330AD in Cappadocia. Both followed the monastic life for some years before becoming bishops of Caesarea and Constantinople respectively. They also fought Arian heresy. Saint Basil died on 1st January, 379 and Saint Gregory died on 25 January 389 or 390. They were life-long friends.

 Topic: True Humility.
In today’s gospel, we see the testimony of John the Baptist. And in this account, Saint John the Baptist’s witness was adorned with his humility. He could have accepted being either the Messiah, Elijah, or the prophet without being suspected because the people were filled with expectation, cf. Lk 3:15. Yet he declined those personalities that could have fetched him great respect, cf. Jn 1:20, 21. He accepted being the fulfilment of the Isaiah’s prophesy: “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’” (Jn 1:23).

How many today can toe the path of John the Baptist by accepting who he/she is? Yet about him Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist...” (Matt 11:11; cf. Lk 7:28). Remember that “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt 23:12; cf. Lk 14:11; 18:14).

As we begin a New Year, may we learn how to accept ourselves, our backgrounds, our neighbours, and so on just like the Saints we celebrate today. Sometimes one might think that the easiest way to succeed is to put on false self but it only plunges beyond one’s position. People who worth you will certainly respect and accept you as you are but you must respect and accept yourself first. True Humility is one accepting him/herself. This does not mean that one should not look for ways of improving.

Bible Reading: Lk 14:7-14.

Thought for today: Accept who you are (Be humble).

Let us pray: May your grace O Lord help us accept ourselves as we are – Amen.

Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen – Pray for us.

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