Homily for December 27, 2016. Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist.
Bible Study: 1 John 1, 1-4, John 20, 2-8.
If at all, there could be any atom of doubt about whether or not Jesus Christ was actually born as man from the womb of the virgin Mary and lived among men, there is one great evangelist whose writings stand tall to quench such doubts. John, also known as the Beloved Apostle whose feast we celebrate today writes with utter conviction: “Something we have heard from the beginning, something we have seen with our eyes, something we have touched…”
John is saying in essence that Jesus was not just a figment of the imagination. John is saying I was with Jesus, I saw him with my very eyes, I had series of conversation with him, I ate with him, I followed him while he performed all his miracles, I touched him. Infact, at the foot of the cross, I was the one he entrusted his Mother to and she lived with me from that day.
Our Gospel passage today takes us to that familiar scene of the Resurrection Morning. The fact that we are reading about the resurrection just within the same week as we celebrate the birth of Jesus carries a lot of meaning. The birth of Jesus was the beginning of his victory over sin and death. And if he was really born as man, we must be reminded immediately that that same baby Jesus was the same man who rose from the dead. Without his rising from the dead, then there would have been no need for us to celebrate his birthday.
On that faithful morning, when the Mary Magdalene brought the news that the body of Jesus was not found in the tomb and even the stone had been rolled away, Peter and John immediately ran there to see things for themselves first hand. We are told that John being a younger man reached the tomb first but in humility he did not go in until Peter had gone in first. He saw and he believed. There was no room for any doubt in his heart anymore. No wonder John did not write like one guessing. He wrote his Gospel and the three epistles with all conviction.
Something quite striking in our first reading today is that John tells us that the whole purpose of preaching is SO THAT OUR JOY MAY BE COMPLETE. Having looked at life, one cannot but conclude with St. Augustine that our hearts are restless until they rest in God. Only God can guarantee our happiness.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to understand you and love you just as John the Beloved. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you and Merry Christmas