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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sts Basil and Gregory

“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’" Jn 1:23

Most of the great saints of the early church, like Basil and Gregory, knew, like John the Baptist, that their primary task was to cry out the truth of the Gospel despite the personal cost to their own reputation and power. Basil did this by preaching twice a day, usually against Arianism which denied the divinity of Christ. His commitment to preaching the fullness of the truth caused others to accuse him of heresy. Despite his appeals to the Pope for help, Basil was often left dangling and vulnerable.

Gregory was first drawn to Basil, the founder of monasticism in the East, because he wanted  to live a quiet, secluded and prayerful life. Soon  however, he was ordained priest, then  bishop, and before he knew it he was sent to Constantinople to try to bring peace and orthodoxy to that troubled place. Despite his best efforts, he was also vilified and attacked personally. Still, Gregory endured and preached consistently and constantly about the great mystery of the Incarnation, only to be isolated and forgotten in his last years.

Only when we are clear about our role as Christians are we able to endure trials and difficulties. Like John the Baptist we are to make the Lord's way straight and accept the consequences, no matter how difficult, of living the Gospel.

Today, don't worry about your success. Worry about living the Gospel.

What is the most difficult part of living the gospel for you?

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