WORD of the DAY
No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.
Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life. I write you these things about those who would deceive you.
(1 John 2, 23-27)
St. John uses one verb, ‘remain’, to translate what it means to be children of God, made participants in divinity in Mary and in Jesus. For John, to remain means preserving the awareness of being Children, conscious of the responsibilities and possibilities that follow this new condition. Remaining also connotes having found one’s proper place. It is the opposite of escaping. It is synonymous with having reached a stable relationship within a context but above all, with the persons in that context. Those relationships are made in this involving, obligatory, and fruitful way.
The two saints we celebrate today, Gregory Nazianzus and Basil the Great, are remembered together because their holiness surpasses and blesses one of the most beautiful expressions of this REMAINING in LOVE: Friendship. Their friendship became the place to express their faith, give meaning to study, to knowledge; to give energy and motivation to moral endeavor. It is also where to find strength in adversity, consolation, and affection, to appreciate not being or acting alone, even though in a life totally dedicated to God that has chosen not to have a real family of exclusive affections.
Lord, help us to live intensely every kind of relationship we build with people. The ties of blood immediately call us to effort, affection, dedication. The ties with Christ Jesus are sometimes drier, however, they do not ask for less love, less responsibility. May our communities be places of well-being, of fruitful work, of courageous creativity.
The Voice of the Liturgy from the Office of Readings for Today
Thus, it was not only I who felt taken with veneration toward my great Basil for the seriousness of his ways and for the maturity and wisdom of his discourses, but others did the same, even those who did not yet know him. However, many greatly esteemed him having known and heard him previously. Thus it followed that he alone, among all those who arrived for studies in Athens, was considered out of the ordinary, having reached an esteem that placed him over and above simple disciples. Thus began our friendship; from here the incentive for our close rapport and we felt each other taken by mutual affection.