St. John, the Evangelist

Today is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, who tells us in one of his letters (our first Mass reading for today) that what he testifies about is “what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands…the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us.”

As I read those words, what came to mind was the beautiful beginning of John’s Gospel, words that have tremendous power for me:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be….

When I hear those words proclaimed, or even when I simply read them myself, I feel something shift inside of me. The words pull me completely to a place of peace…security…absolute confidence in the power and presence of God. What I feel as I sit transfixed by the Words comes from a place very deep inside, and I understand what John is talking about in his letter – that which motivates his evangelization.

What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it….
And the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us.

As John understood so well, the Word of God is not designed to simply give us warm feelings inside. Instead, we are meant to contribute to the enfleshment of the Word in our world today.

Let the evangelist John be a model for us as we consider our own discipleship in, and evangelization of, the world in which we live.

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