December 27, 2018
(St. John, Apostle and Evangelist)
Beloved: 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 concerns the Word of life — for the life was made visible; 1_Jn_1:1-4
. . . and His name is Jesus.
Within three days, we’ve jumped from the new life of baby Jesus in the Christmas incarnation to the glorious martyrdom of His disciple Stephen, and today to the testimony of John, concerning the “new” and eternal life of the resurrection.
After all they had been through, the ups and the downs of: Jesus’ miracles, His teachings, His healings, and then His passion and death, their feeling of abandonment and finally His resurrection, ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit – the Apostles and those who closely followed Jesus were totally changed.
And we, beloved, are simply left with their testimony alone. Do we, can we, believe in simply what we’ve read or heard? Can we believe in the testimonies of others who have experienced miraculous events in the Name of Jesus? Have we had those experiences ourselves? Maybe we have and maybe not.
But if we just look at the choices of “final outcome”: belief equals eternal life and denial as simply an end of this life (or for those who believe – eternal exclusion from the presence of God), we wonder how anyone could choose the latter.
And yet, if this life experience has been our only example of what life means, and if that experience has been totally miserable, then why would anyone want to have THAT – eternally?
And that’s where it’s up to us, beloved, to convince them that Jesus wasn’t talking about eternal suffering! The eternal life that Jesus promised would be anything BUT suffering: peace, health, hope, fulfillment, joy, love, non-judgmental community. If that’s something we seem to be missing in this life, then all the more reason to believe. All the more reason to hope!
From what we know, every one of Jesus’ apostles suffered the remainder of their physical lives. Most were killed for their faith. Now either they were totally crazy, or they really believed it was all worth it! As for me and my house, we will take their and Jesus’ Word for it, with an invitation for the WORLD to follow!
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