1 John 2:22-28; Psalm 98; John 1:19-28
“Beloved: Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.” With these words St John exhorts us to remain faithful to God and to be wary of those false teachers who deny that Jesus is the Messiah. In the Gospel we are called to be present day successors of John and to proclaim the kingdom through our words and actions. Therefore, we must learn to preserve the truth we have received.
Today the Church celebrates the memorial of two great saints: Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church. They both stood to preserve the right teaching of the Church. St. Basil fought against the Arian heresy (that Jesus is not co-equal with the Father but created by him). On the other hand, St. Gregory defense of the doctrine of the Trinity (God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) made him one of the greatest champions of orthodoxy against Arianism. He wrote to his successor, Nectarius, and others against the heresy of Apollinaris, who denied the existence of a human soul in Christ. Beloved, let us continue to hold on to the true teaching of the Church and guard against present day false teachers and preachers. Therefore, let us be steadfast. St. John says in the first reading: “if we remain steadfast then we will receive the promise which God made to us – that is eternal life. We can be steadfast because we have been anointed with the Holy Spirit who will protect us whenever we ask for that strength and protection.”
Let us pray
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by the example and teaching of the Bishops Saints Basil and Gregory, grant, we pray, that in humility we may learn your truth and practice it faithfully in charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen