Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
1 John 2:22-28 + John 1:19-28
January 2, 2017
“And now, children, remain in Him….”
St. John the Evangelist often writes in a style that can leave you scratching your head. Even when he tells a story in his Gospel account with a straight-forward plot, there’s a pervasive sense of double meanings.
In his epistles his language can seem abstract. In today’s First Reading, for example, he uses phrases encouraging his listeners to “remain in” the Father and the Son, and to allow what they heard, and the anointing they received, to “remain in” them. What does this phrase “remain in” refer to?
The key to everything that John teaches is found in his Gospel prologue: John 1:1-18. What can seem at first like philosophy is in fact a profound mystery of our Faith. This is the truth of the Incarnation, which we celebrate through the five mysteries of the Christmas Season: “The Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us” [John 1:14]. This mystery is the foundation for the “divinization” that God calls Christians to, where God dwells in the Christian and the Christian dwells in God (sometimes called the “divine indwelling”).
This is not a reality that can be understood through physical terms, but we can base our understanding of it on a most basic human experience: love. The three Persons of the Blessed Trinity are Love, and are the basis for you as a Christian to remain in God’s life of love, and to allow His love to remain in you.