Let us all remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one's life. - Pope Francis
Scripture text: (1 JN 1:1-4)
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;
we have seen it and testify to it
and proclaim to you the eternal life
that was with the Father and was made visible to us—
what we have seen and heard
we proclaim now to you,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
for our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.
The witness of the disciple (St John) is simply and strikingly presented in the first reading at today’s mass: What we have seen and heard in our own lives we report to you – we share with you. But IF we have seen and heard it in our own lives, then our lives have to demonstrate that. Pope Francis has been calling all Catholics to be “JOYFUL” because IF we have seen and heard the truth of God becoming human in our own lives THEN we must manifest that truth by our attitudes, choices and way of life. What have we seen and heard? In some way or another we have encountered the profound loving care of God’s personal attention to us. If that hasn’t happened for us, then we must pray in confidence that God will disclose God’s self to us, and we have to attentively listen to the soft whisper of God that changes everything – like a mighty wind.
St. John’s passion can be ours, too. As we cooperate with the ever-present grace of God, we can come to know him more and more clearly. We can taste his own passion for us, and that passion will enkindle a fire in our hearts. Even the smallest step of obedience, surrender, or cooperation with God can spark the flame. God doesn’t need much from us, just an open heart and a flexible will.