Basil the Great, and Gregory Nazianzen, (330 – 379) bishops, doctors
Basil became bishop of Caesarea in 370. He fought against the Arians and was generous to the poor. Nazianzen was elected Bishop of Constantinople in 381, where he died on 25th January, 389. He is known as “Gregory the Theologian” in honour of his learning and eloquence.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Sir 44: 15, 14
Let the peoples recount the wisdom of the Saints, and let the Church proclaim their praise. Their names will live on and on.
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, forever and ever.
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.
R/ All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
1. Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has worked wonders. His right hand and his holy arm, have brought salvation.
2. The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations. He has remembered his truth and love, for the house of Israel.
3. All the ends of the earth have seen, the salvation of our God. Shout to the Lord, all the earth, ring out your joy.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn 1: 14, 12
Alleluia, alleluia! The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. To all who received him, he gave power to become children of God. Alleluia!
Gospel : John 1: 19-28
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.
Prayer over the Offerings
Accept this sacrifice from your people, we pray, O Lord, and make what is offered for your glory, in honour of Saints Basil and Gregory, a means to our eternal salvation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. 1 Cor 1: 23-24
We proclaim Christ crucified; Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Prayer after Communion
May partaking at the heavenly table, almighty God, confirm and increase strength from on high in all who celebrate the feast day of Saints Basil and Gregory, that we may preserve in integrity, the gift of faith, and walk in the path of salvation you trace for us. Through Christ our Lord.
In today’s Gospel passage, the identity of John is questioned. The people take John for the messiah, for his actions mimic those of the messiah as foretold in the scriptures ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John, in all honesty and humility, tells them he is only the one who prepares the way for the Christ. Are we humble enough put forth our true identity and refuse honours, praises, and positions that are not ours even when they are given to us?