A Meditation on St. John the Evangelist

First Reading: 1 John 1:1-4
Psalm: Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
Gospel: John 20:1-8

St. Jerome writes of St. John the Evangelist that in his old age,
when he could no longer walk without assistance and could hardly
speak, his disciples would carry him to the church. At each service
at which he appeared he would repeat, “My little children, love one
another.” The disciples and the brothers and sisters who were
present, wearied by his constant repetition, once asked
him, “Master, why do you always say the same thing?” John
replied, “because it is the Lord’s command and if you do only this,
it suffices.”

John begins his first letter (this morning’s first reading) by
stating his credentials for what he is about to write in the
letter. He and the other apostles had lived with Jesus and had
experienced him first hand . . . “what we have heard, what we
have seen with our own eyes, what we have looked upon and our hands
have touched.” The Greek word we translate as looked upon means to
grasp the significance of a person or thing. So the apostles had
experienced Jesus as much more than simply another human being.
John says they knew him to be the revelation of the Father, the word
of life, the word of everlasting life.

With his credentials established, John’s states that his purpose in
writing this letter is to introduce men and women into fellowship
with one another and with the Father and his son Jesus Christ. In
other words John wants to create an environment in which the
followers of Jesus will learn how to love one another. For
John `loving one another’ was the heart of the Christian religion
and of Christian living.

This environment, in which love can grow, is what the Church is to

“Lord Jesus Christ, you have triumphed over the grave and you have
won new life for us. Give me the eyes of faith to see you in your
glory. Help me to draw near to you and to grow in the knowledge of
your great love and power.”