Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tuesday before Epiphany: Saints Basil the Great (d. 379) and Gregory Nazianzen (d. 390)

Readings of the day: RB Prol. 8-13
Mass: 1 John 2:22-28; Resp. Psalm 98; John 1:19-28
Our Holy Father, St Benedict
Let us get up, then, at long last, for the Scriptures rouse us when they say:
It is high time for us to arise from sleep (Rom 13:11).
Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from heaven that every day calls out this charge:
If you hear his voice today, harden not your hearts (Ps 94 [95]:8).
(RB Prol. 8-10)

If you’re still groggy from the New Year celebrations, Saint Benedict’s call should stir our minds and hearts to action. The Prologue almost leaves one breathless with the intensity of its summons: listen; attend; put it into practice; give up your own will; do battle; persevere; do not weaken; obey; get up; arise from sleep; open our eyes and ears; run. This is in the first 13 verses alone! Saint Benedict is about moderation, not mediocrity. We are not meant to settle for the least common denominator. The WORD calls us to get with the program so to speak, to be our best selves, for our own good, yes, but also for the good of our brothers and sisters with whom we live, work, and encounter on a daily basis. The psalmist cries, ‘Today!’, not tomorrow. The voice is crying out in the desert: ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’! We must remain in HIM, in whom we live, and move, and have our being, so that when HE appears we have confidence and are not put to shame at HIS coming.

Shall we not do today what we have been putting off until tomorrow?

Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen,
pray for us.

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