“What do you have to say for yourself?” John 1:23).
Today’s readings from the First Letter of John and the Gospel of John, assigned for the feast of two fourth-century saints, Basil and Gregory, offer us a rich convergence of themes. In the gospel, John the Baptist is being interrogated by religious authorities from Jerusalem about his authority and identity. Is he from God, with the Christ or a precursor to the coming of the Christ (Elijah or the Prophet)? John declares that he is not the Christ, but a messenger foretold by Isaiah — “A voice crying in the wilderness.”