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Monday, January 2, 2012

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St. Basil the Great
St. Gregory Nazianzen

1 John 2:22-28
Psalm 98:1-4
John 1:19-28

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"Who, then?" —John 1:21

We begin this new year with the question: "Who are you?" (Jn 1:19). This is a good question. How can we be what the Lord wants us to be this year unless we know who we are? However, the question of our identity is most difficult. One voice says we are God's children (see Mt 3:17; Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 3:2). We are called "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people He claims for His own" (1 Pt 2:9). But we don't feel like God's children or look very royal, priestly, or holy. Another voice says we are merely human, in fact, just sophisticated animals. If we accept this, we can "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die" (see Wis 2:6ff; 1 Cor 15:32). Although this second voice puts us down and degrades us, we feel like believing it and leading a self-indulgent, sexually immoral life.

To answer the question, "Who are you?", we must answer the questions: "Who are the voices in my life?" and "Who is the liar?" (1 Jn 2:22). The first voice is the united voice of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The second voice is the voice of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The second voice is the liar. The first voice is the Truth (Jn 14:6). Know yourself. Know God.

Prayer:  Father, may I realize that eternal life is to know You, Jesus, the Spirit, and myself (see Jn 17:3).

Promise:  "He Himself made us a promise and the promise is no less than this: eternal life." —1 Jn 2:25

Praise:  St. Basil and St. Gregory lived in solitude together as monks before becoming bishops.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Who Am I In Christ?, or our three-tape audio series starting with AV 7A-1 or two-tape video series starting with V-7A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011

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