READING OF THE DAY
A reading from the First Letter of John
1 Jn 2:22-28
Who is the liar?
Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ.
Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist.
Anyone who denies the Son does not have 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.
As for you,
the anointing that you received from him remains in you,
so that you do not need anyone to teach you.
But his anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false;
just as it taught you, remain in him.
And now, children, remain in him,
so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to John
This is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,
“I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.
Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
January 2, 2023
God’s Word for Us
Dear People of God,
In the Word of God for today, God tells all mankind about the true identity of Saint John the Baptist, a forerunner who prepared the way for God to come to earth as a man.
This forerunner was a very humble man who humbled himself and was faithful to God the Father. God the Father loved, chose, and placed Saint John the Baptist in His work. Saint John the Baptist was a great prophet of God: He lived according to his human condition, lived in accordance with his status as a prophet, one who prepared the way for the Savior to come into the world. He did not take away the honor and rights of the Son of God when the people greatly honored Him and loved his justice and righteousness. Therefore, there were those who feared that he would destroy their high-ranking and powerful lives at that time. Those were the priests and scribes who came to inquire whether Saint John was the Messiah or not, because the righteous and just life of Saint John the Baptist had left an impression on the people.
Besides, Saint John was a very great prophet of God. He glorified God with his own life and preached to make the Son of God stand out for all to see. He did not identify himself as a prophet but he humbly acknowledged himself with these words: I am only a voice shouting in the wilderness, a preparer of the way for the Savior to come into the world.
God also told mankind that: Saint John lived a very pleasing life to God the Father; in humility, he hid himself so that the Son of God would stand out. He said of God: He will come after me, but He is above me; I am not worthy to untie His sandals. John’s humility and self-abasement leave a lesson for everyone and for today’s prophets: Live up to your sinful human condition; do not be haughty, arrogant, or conceited, by saying that: “I am the one who understands all”. Do not deprive God of mastery by thinking that you know everything in this world, because only God is the One who understands everything in man.
Today, God the Father invites all mankind:
- Look at and learn from the example of Saint John the Baptist, bowing down before God the Father and living in accordance with the status of a servant of God; so that when the judgment day comes, the Second Coming of God, God will save the person’s soul and body.
- There is wisdom in the words which God has given to men to learn. By listening to God’s words and practicing them, you are able to convert yourself, to open your heart in order to receive the Son of God, that is, to receive the Eucharist, for which God sacrificed Himself, humbled Himself to the human world, died, was resurrected, and stayed with mankind until the end of the world.
Thanks Be to God. Amen.