The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
What was it like for those who encountered the only begotten Son of God in human form? John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, wrote his gospel as an eye-witness of the Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1,14), and who died and rose for our salvation. John was the first apostle to reach the tomb of Jesus on Easter Sunday morning. Like the other disciples, he was not ready to see an empty tomb and to hear the angel’s message, Why do you seek the living among the dead (Luke 24:5)?
What did John see in the tomb that led him to believe in the resurrection of Jesus? It was certainly not a dead body. The dead body of Jesus would have dis-proven the resurrection and made his death a tragic conclusion to a glorious career as a great teacher and miracle worker. When John saw the empty tomb he must have recalled Jesus’ prophecy that he would rise again after three days. Through the gift of faith John realized that no tomb on earth could contain the Lord and giver of life.
John in his first epistle testifies: What we have seen, heard, and touched we proclaim as the word of life which existed “from the beginning” (1 John 1:1-4). John bears witness to what has existed from all eternity. This “Word of Life” is Jesus the Word Incarnate, but also Jesus as the word announced by the prophets and Jesus the word now preached throughout the Christian churches for all ages to come. One thing is certain, if Jesus had not risen from the dead and appeared to his disciples, we would never have heard of him. Nothing else could have changed sad and despairing men and women into people radiant with joy and courage. The reality of the resurrection is the central fact of the Christian faith. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Lord gives us “eyes of faith” to know him and the power of his resurrection. The greatest joy we can have is to encounter the living Jesus Christ and to know him personally as our Savior and Lord.
“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.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
LOVE SUPREME, INFINITE, AND DIVINE
“On the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away, so she ran off to Simon Peter and the other disciple (the one Jesus loved) and told them…” John 20:1-2
St. John has been traditionally identified with “the beloved disciple” (Jn 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7). However, the Church has also interpreted John 19:26 to mean that the beloved disciple may not be specifically named to show that he represents all of Jesus’ disciples for all times. All of Jesus’ disciples are beloved. All of His disciples can have a miraculous, mysterious relationship with Him in the Eucharist (see Jn 13:23). All of Jesus’ disciples must stand at the foot of the cross (Jn 19:26), deny themselves, and take up the cross each day (Lk 9:23). All of Jesus’ disciples can and must believe in the risen Lord (Jn 20:2) and exclaim publicly: “It is the Lord!” (Jn 21:7)
Christmas is the season when all the beloved disciples are especially invited to become more aware of being the beloved of Christ. Most of us know that Jesus loves us. However, no one knows how much He loves us. If we were to fully realize “one-millionth” of His infinite love for us, we would be so shocked we would die. Nevertheless, during this Christmas season, let us grasp as fully as we can with our human limitations “the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge, so that [we] may attain to the fullness of God Himself” (Eph 3:18-19).
Prayer: Father, at the Masses of this Christ-mas season, reveal more deeply in Your word Your Son’s love for me. Promise: “This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and our hands have touched we speak of the Word of life.” 1 Jn 1:1 Praise: St. John’s exhortation in his old age was: “Little children, love one another” (see 1 Jn 4:7).
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements