The Feast of Saint John the Evangelist
(1 John 1: 1-4, John 20: 1a, 2-8)
In his book entitled The Sabbatical Michael O’Brien wrote: “A house with a child is a home with a miracle living inside it” (pg. 171). When the Eternal Word was born of the ever-virgin Mary, the world became a home for him. Throughout the Christmas Season, we find ourselves living in a house filled with wonder and awe. With the evangelist, John, we ponder the Word who was with God in the beginning, from all eternity. When the Eternal Word became a man, He made visible that which was by nature invisible. Because he became like us in all things but sin, he is an exact image of the Father without tarnish or wrinkle. The apostle saw him and witnessed his wisdom and power. He saw Jesus’s love and mercy extended to others and himself. In Christ, the love of the Father was made tangible. John knew the Lord’s great love for him and acknowledged him as the author and giver of life. He wrote down his experiences so that all who ponder his writings might believe that Jesus is the Son of God and find the fullness of life in him.
Because Christ is the image of the invisible God, he makes visible the One whom no one has ever seen. The evangelist revealed to us the secret of the universe that stood unveiled before his eyes and opened for us the path to the Father. St. Bernard picked up on this theme. “The person who thirsts for God eagerly studies and meditates on the inspired word, knowing that there he is certain to find the one for whom he thirsts” (St. Bernard, Commentary on the Song of Songs, Sermon 23:3). The more we expect God to work in us when we read and pray the Bible, the more open we will be to hearing his voice and experiencing his presence. Like the beloved disciple, we are being drawn into an intimate relationship with the Lining Word, God’s Beloved Son. The inspired Word can draw us nearer to Jesus and have a profound impact on the way we live, the way we think, the words we speak, and the way we view the world. The more we encounter Christ in the Sacred text, the more we will come to know the depth of his love for us. May God’s Spirit reveal Jesus to us through His Word so that we might have His image “burned” into our minds and hearts. May we be so totally consumed by the Flame of Divine Love that we become lights of hope to all we meet.