Dear Fathers,Brothers, Sisters in Christ
1 John 1:1-4
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
John 20:1a and 2-8
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.
(1 John 1:3)
There is no doubt that St. John the Evangelist, whose feast day is commemorated today, was in love with God.
A valiant leader in time of battle, dedicated to the soldiers that follow him, will gain not only their obedience, but their love. Our Lord, in an even more profound manner, was loved by His apostles and disciples, a love magnificently articulated by St. John.
Many couples who make a marriage encounter weekend experience falling in love with each other all over again. Such an experience gives evidence to the life of the divine persons of the Holy Trinity, the sanctifying grace within their marriage, in their relationship with each other.
Single Christians -- ordained, religious, and laity -- might also experience a profound love of God, as do saints and martyrs.
Over time, the romantic love between husband and wife might not be as visible as it was in the beginning, but in a committed lifelong marriage, the glow is still there. The roots of their love have deepened and matured to such an extent that its outward expression has become more subdued. However, even late in life, romance will break through and make itself known.
St. John was a romantic, an inspired philosophical troubadour with an elevated prose that touches the soul of the reader. His words are not simply words, but a reflection of a reality -- of an intimate friendship with The Word.
And what is Christ's joy in us, but that He deigns to rejoice on our account? And what is our joy, which He says shall be full, but to have fellowship with Him?
(St. Augustine, Tractate 83, The Gospel of St. John)
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne