Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen
(1 John 2: 22-28, John 1: 19-28)
“If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and the Father” (1Jn. 2: 24). If the truth of God-Made-Man abides in us, it unites us to the one who is nearest the heart of the Father (CF. Jn 1:18) and to one another. He who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life brings us into the Father’s loving embrace (CF. Jn. 14:6), in whom we live and move and have our being (CF. Acts 17:28). Our only hope in life is this: God never changes. “We are confident that the One who began the good work in us will continue to perfect and complete it until the day when Christ returns” (Phil. 1:6). Because God has made his salvation known to the whole world, we have reason to sing a song of joy from the depths of our hearts.
The Only-begotten Son of God became man so that through Him the Father could make all things new (CF. Rev. 21:5). He who was true God from true God willingly emptied himself of his divine privileges to become a mortal human being. He became what he was not (human) so that we might become what we are not (divine). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). “Jesus our brother has come to make his Father our Father; as a small child, he reveals to us the tender love of God” (Pope Francis). Our life isn’t intended to be empty and meaningless. God desires us to become his sons and daughters and heirs of the kingdom. We are full of hope and trust as we realize that the Lord has been born for us; that the eternal Word of the Father, the infinite God, has made his home among us. He became flesh; he came “to dwell among us” (Jn 1:14).
“God could have come wrapped in glory, splendor, light, and power, to instill fear, to make us rub our eyes in amazement. But instead, he came as the smallest, frailest, and weakest of creatures. Why? So that no one would be ashamed to approach him; so that no one would be afraid; so that all would be close to him and draw near him; so that there would be no distance between us and him. God made the effort to plunge, to dive deep within us, so that each of us, could speak intimately with him, trust him, draw near him, and realize that he thinks of us and loves us” (St. Paul VI, Christmas, 1971).
I know the Desert is beautiful, for I have lain in her arms and she has kissed me.
I have come to her, that I may know freedom;
That I may lie upon the breast of the Mother and breathe the air of primal conditions.
I have come out from the haunts of men;
From the struggle of wolves upon a carcass,
To be melted in Creation’s crucible and be made clean;
To know that the law of Nature is freedom.
(The Poet in the Desert, Charles Erskine Scott Wood)