One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

December 27, 2006

For the Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, December 27

John 20:1a,2-8
1 John 1:1-4

The Holy Gospel according to John hands on to us an experience of Jesus as a man who puts himself right “in your face,” as the saying goes.
In this Gospel and in those New Testament letters that bear the name of St. John, Jesus is a strong personality, knowing exactly who he is and what he wants from you, and sticking it to you without hesitation or explanation.
This Gospel preserves, proclaims and hands on a living awareness that this one who “got in our faces” is the Son of God in person, born a man of real flesh and blood.
Our first reading today, the beginning of the first Letter of St. John, insists and repeats its insistence about “live contact” with Jesus.
The passage practically nags.
I HEARD HIM, I HEARD HIM, I HEARD HIM.
I SAW HIM, I SAW HIM, I SAW HIM.
I TOUCHED HIM, I TOUCHED HIM, I TOUCHED HIM.
“I heard, saw and touched him… and I want YOU to have COMMUNION with me in that experience.”
St. John wants literally to hand on or hand over to us the real experience of hearing, seeing and touching Jesus Christ.
In the Scriptures, the liturgy and the sacraments, the Church maintains and hands on this same living awareness, this same living presence, this same communion and real experience of seeing, hearing and touching God in Christ.
We enter and receive the communion of Christ through baptism, sacred anointing and the Eucharist.
In the TRADITION, the HANDING-ON and HANDING-OVER of the sacraments, we are given to see, to hear and to touch the very same one on whose breast the beloved disciple himself laid his head at the first Eucharist.
This communion, testimony and tradition have come down to us in the sacraments of the Lord from the apostles through their successors in the Church.
Through the sacraments and the laying on of hands, going back generation to generation for two-thousand years, WE have seen, WE have heard, WE have touched, WE have received communion in the Son of God who was born a real man of real flesh and real blood.
And in the Blessed Eucharist, we bodily consume this same communion in the Son of God.
Because of the Eucharist, you and I must say: WE have seen him; WE have heard him; WE have touched him.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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