St Basil the Great – Imitating Christ

20160114_stbasil_sqIn the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. We commemorate the circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ today, as well as one of our Holy Fathers, St Basil the Great. May the great saint St Basil pray for us. Amen.

Christ our Lord was born a Jew, and as such, in the flesh, our Lord abided by the laws set before His people. To His people He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.” (St Matthew 5:17, Hebrews 7:26-28, 8:1-2)

Therefore, in the flesh, our Lord went through the rites of circumcision in obedience and humility (Zephaniah 2:3, Proverbs 16:19-22), to fulfill the laws set before His humanity, despite the fact that He is clearly sinless. Our Lord showed us that to be a Christian, we are to go beyond the laws, and not negate the commandments set in the Prophets.

What does going beyond mere laws mean? It means going deeper, and to dwell not merely in form, but in the true spirit of the law. We as Christians of the Church are the True Israel and acknowledged as Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:29), called to imitate Christ Whom we acknowledge as Lord and God, and to bring to the world His Light.

Apostle Paul explained further that the believers in Christ as Lord, are the new creation (Galatians 6:15), and made new man (Colossians 3:9-11), such as whether circumcised or uncircumcised (physically), did not matter anymore, but Christ is all, and in all.

The choice therefore, is whether we choose Christ as our Lord and savior. If we do, Christ is all that matters to us, and Christ will abide in us. If we do not choose Christ as our Lord or acknowledge Him as the Savior, then whatever else is irrelevant, and the doors of His Kingdom remains closed to us no matter what else we do.

Christ left us many powerful communicaé, but one of the most powerful is the Beatitudes (St Luke 6:17-23, St Matthew 5:1-7), that we pray every Divine Liturgy. The Beatitudes constantly remind us that wealth and power are not the keys to His Kingdom, but rather, those who are the poor in spirit, those who mourn (repent), those who are meek, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and those who show mercy to others. These are powerful commands of our Lord, and are the keys to point us to repent, reconcile, and return to our Lord. It will be a constant struggle no doubt, but we are to constantly pray the Beatitudes to remind us that our Lord has shown us the way back to Him. Imitate Him.

Let us pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Zephaniah 2:3
Proverbs 16:19-22
St Luke 6:17-23
Hebrews 7:26-28, 8:1-2