Tuesday, January 02, 2018

St. Basil the Great

“Who are you?” John 1:22

This was the question asked of John the Baptist when he was witnessing of the coming of the light, Jesus Christ. John knew exactly who he was, even if some would make of him the Messiah. The same question can be asked of us, “Who are you?” 

Do we know that we too are supposed to be a voice crying out in this desert of a world, “Make straight the way of the Lord”? Or are most of our pursuits out to make things comfortable for us and our families? 

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Basil the Great. I like reading about saints, ordinary people like you and me who did the extraordinary by God’s grace. Saint Basil  came from a very well off, noble family in what is now Turkey. He abandoned his legal and teaching career to become a monk together with another amazing saint, Gregory of Nazianzus. He founded a monastic settlement on his family’s estate. His widowed mother, sister and several other women joined Basil and his other like-minded disciples in prayer and charitable works. When Basil became Bishop of Caesarea in 370, he organized soup kitchens and gave away his fortune to the poor. 

He established a huge community called the Basiliad outside Caesarea, which included a poorhouse, a hospice, and the first hospital in history where lepers were treated. Saint Basil was also an effective rhetorician and theologian, who fought heresies against the Church and Jesus Christ. In his homilies, Basil encouraged the wealthy to be more generous so others may live in dignity. 

May 2018 bring out the best in ourselves. Like John the Baptist and Saint Basil, we have much to contribute to God’s work. We can use the gifts God has given us to make this world a better place to live in not just for our families, but for others who have no voice, no livelihood, no dignity. 

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I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy