Feast of the Circumcision of Christ and the Feast of St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia

January 1, 2011

“The mystery of Thy dispensation, O Christ our God, has been accomplished and perfected as far as was in our power; for we have seen the type of Thy Resurrection; we have been filed with Thine unending life; we have enjoyed Thine inexhaustible food; which in the world to come be well-pleased to vouchsafe to us all, through the grace of Thine Eternal Father, and Thine holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

We celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil today, with a small group of faithful gathered. The civil new year is upon us, but our thoughts are drawn to the liturgy and its hymnography, the words of which we hear during Great Lent and just a few other times each year. How blessed it is that we can come together and begin the year in this fashion. “All of creation rejoices in you, O Full of Grace, the assembly of angels and the race of men. O sanctified temple and spiritual paradise, the glory of virgins, from whom God was incarnate and became a child — our God before the ages. He made your body into a throne, and your womb He made more spacious than the heavens. All of creation rejoices with you, O Full of Grace. Glory to you!”

The world focuses on the passage of time, the notable events of the past year, and the hopes and expectations of what is to come in 2011. Rather than be sentimental about the past year, we would do well to consider the present moment, and how we are to share in the mystery of Our Lord’s Resurrection…the coming year can be of immense importance to us if we enter into this mystery. The barrier to this is not our serendipitous fortune but only our willingness to see ourselves as we truly are, and to repent.

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