JAN. 2. ST. BASIL AND ST GREGORY NAZINZEN. JN. 1. 19-28
Updated: Aug 26
(Day 2 of 2021 and the Gospel rightly puts the focus on Christ, Son of God, Son of Mary!)
This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied: A voice that cries in the wilderness:
Make a straight way for the Lord.’
Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
“John appeared as a witness!” A witness is someone who reveals the truth to others! And the reason we need “witnesses” is because, without them we do not know The Truth! How relevant this is for God’s people, who think we know the truth, but in reality we are blind!
We think the way to happiness and peace is found by satisfying our desires for “pleasure” and “success”, but we do this because we are totally unaware of our blindness; - and we need “witnesses” to reveal the truth which is hidden from us because of this “blindness!”
Nobody knows this better than Our Creator, which is why he sent John as a “witness”; - to reveal The Truth, and why he never stops sending witnesses, or Saints, who have become aware of the Truth after many years of Prayer, Sacrament, Searching and Divine Grace!
The problem, in a nutshell, is we are unaware of our blindness! We think we know how to find and experience “happiness” and “peace”, and so we desire, and pursue “pleasure” and “success”; - totally unaware we are walking down they wrong road; - a “dead end” road!
This is why God has always provided “witnesses” for his people, but it is also the reason why we do not listen to them; - as we are blind; - and think we are on the right road in following our own desires whatever the be; - “pleasure”, “success”, “comfort”, “fame”, “knowledge”, or any other desires we might cultivate.
But God keeps sending witnesses to his people in the hope they will listen and learn prior to life ending; - and having to face the judgement seat before their loving, and merciful Creator!
John was a “witness” to the Truth, in that he was a witness to Christ who “IS” The Truth; - which means Jesus Christ is the one to whom we must now listen, because he is the ultimate “witness”; - the one we must listen to if we want to overcome blindness and experience true happiness and peace!
The “witness” who reveals the very purpose and meaning of earthly life, as he IS “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, and “no one attains Eternal Life, except through me!” (Jn 14.6) - The one who continues to dwell with us; - in the twenty-first century; - in the Holy Eucharist!
Gospel Acclamation Heb1:1-2
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
now he speaks to us through his Son.
First reading 1 John 2:22-28 ·
The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ –
he is the liar,
he is Antichrist;
and he is denying the Father as well as the Son,
because no one who has the Father can deny the Son,
and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning:
as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you,
you will live in the Son
and in the Father;
and what is promised to you by his own promise
is eternal life.
This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.
But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you,
and you do not need anyone to teach you;
the anointing he gave teaches you everything;
you are anointed with truth, not with a lie,
and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
Live in Christ, then, my children,
so that if he appears, we may have full confidence,
and not turn from him in shame
at his coming.