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The first letter of St. John: We have looked at the Word of life (part one)

“When my Love pays, the value is such that It can afford to pay for everyone, and to buy back whatever It wants.”

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That which was from the beginning,

which we have heard,

which we have seen with our eyes,

which we have looked at and our hands have touched

—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.   (1 John 1:

"That which was from the beginning": of what beginning does the Apostle intend to speak to us? That of the world or that of the Lord's public life? If we look for the expression "in the beginning" in John, we find in the Fourth Gospel a statement by the Master that removes all doubt: "You have been with me from the beginning" (Jn 15:27), that is, from the first moments of my public manifestation to Israel.  

Of course, this interpretation does not exclude the fact that the expression ‘from the beginning’ also indicates, to a certain extent, something which has existed from all eternity. In fact, this opening passage of the letter closely echoes the prologue of the Fourth Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (Jn 1:1). The Evangelist John affirms, in essence, that the person of the Savior, who exists from eternity (from the beginning), and his message have been and must be known in their entirety from the beginning, because he who knows everything from the beginning has a more complete vision and also because at the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel (in general) and at the beginning of the new experience of faith of each person (in particular) the most important and authentic truths of Christian life were communicated. Only water that comes directly from the source is the purest and most genuine.

In v. 1 the author of the letter says: "That which was": in this way he intends to indicate not only Christ, but everything about Him. Therefore, for the believer it is fundamental to get a complete knowledge of everything that Jesus said and did from the earliest times. It is therefore indispensable to know well the whole historical story of Christ in order not to make a mistake about His identity and not to alter the truth in the course of time. What was in the beginning must be rediscovered and acquired in a complete way. What we believe today must flow from the beginning.

"That which we have heard": hearing, sight and touch are the three bodily senses that enabled the Evangelist to come into contact with the Lord.

"That which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at": today we can still hear the words of Christ faithfully contained in the Gospels. But how can we see or touch the Risen Lord? For us there is truly a real way of seeing (material aspect) and contemplating (mystical aspect) the Lord: it consists in the assiduous and attentive listening to His Word. God's Word leads us to experience God's presence, so that we have nothing to envy to eyewitnesses. Indeed, we are even more "blessed" than they are because, through hearing, we can have an interior experience that is even more valid than the sensory one, because it requires a more refined sensitivity than that necessary for those who have seen with own eyes or touched with their own hands.

"That which our hands have touched": the verb used is the same one used by the Risen Jesus when He speaks to the apostles, who are stunned by His physical presence. He says "Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have" (Luke 24:39) This makes us realize that there is a way for us to touch that which is untouchable. We realize that it is not useless for the Apostle to say that he saw with his eyes and touched with his hands (cf. Jn 20:27): he does not forget the organs of sensory perception because he knows well that the body is a necessary instrument of the spirit in this experience.

"About the Word of Life": The Lógos was the true object of the senses of the various witnesses, that is, the Word of Life, or more succinctly, Life. The well-known words of the Prologue of the Gospel explain to us why it was possible to see and touch the divine Word: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (Jn 1:14). The Incarnation was the extraordinary event that enabled the apostles to see the invisible Life. We too, through their eyes, can come to get the same certainty that they had to love God with the same intensity (cf. 1 Pet 1:6-9)! We must know that one of the most beautiful secrets of the mystical contemplation of the saints is precisely that of fixing our gaze on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word (1 Pet 1:12).

When Luisa prayed, she loved to make the rounds and enter into the divine acts that the Lord accomplished. In the passage of December 25, 1937, Luisa recounts what Jesus said to her when she immersed herself in the mystery of the Incarnation. She was contemplating the wonders, the surprises of love, of power, of divine wisdom, but she did not know where to begin. And behold, Jesus Himself at that moment, surprising her, told her that in His descent upon earth the wonders - the ardor of His Love - were so great and so many that neither Angels nor creatures can understand all that the Divinity worked in the mystery of the Incarnation.

The Supreme Being possesses Its incessant motion by nature. If this motion could cease, even for an instant - which cannot be - all things would remain paralyzed and with no life, because all things - the life, the preservation and all that exists in Heaven and on earth - everything - depends on that Motion. Therefore, in descending from Heaven to earth, Jesus, Word and Son of the Father, departed from the primary Motion; remaining, He left. The Father and the Holy Spirit descended with Jesus - they were concurrent neither Jesus did any act if not together with Them, and They still remained on the Throne - full of Majesty, in the Celestial regions

So, as Jesus left, His Immensity, His Love and His Power descended together with Him; and His Love - which is incredible and is not satisfied if It doesn’t form, from His Life, a Life for each existing creature - not only did this, but It formed His Life everywhere and in every place - multiplying It. Keeping His Immensity in Its power, His Love filled It with many of His Lives, so that everyone could have a Life of Jesus for himself, and the Divinity could have the glory and the honor of a Divine Life for as many things and creatures as God delivered to daylight. God’s Love repaid Him for the Work of Creation. And by forming many of divine Lives, It not only repaid God, but It gave God even more than He had done. The Divinity remained enraptured, and felt a sweet enchantment in seeing the devices and stratagems of God’s Love - in seeing so many of divine Lives being spread out, since God’s Love used His own Immensity as the circle in which to place them. Therefore, while God’s Life was the center, His Immensity and Power were the circumference in which these innumerable Lives were being deposited. These Lives could find everything and everyone, and offered themselves to love God and to be loved.

don Marco
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- 2/18/2021
Thank you so much for these Holy Words. Sherry Leonard Tallahassee Florida