Read and listen to The Word of December 27, 2022
Saint John, apostle and evangelist, feast
What we have seen and heard, we also proclaim to you.
From the first letter of Saint John the Apostle
My children, what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have contemplated and what our hands have touched of the Word of life - life indeed manifested itself, we have seen it and of this we testify and proclaim to you eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us - what we have seen and heard, we proclaim also to you, so that you too may be in fellowship with us.
And our communion is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write these things to you, so that our joy may be complete.
From Ps 96 (97)
R. Rejoice, righteous, in the Lord.
The Lord reigns: let the earth rejoice,
let all the islands rejoice.
Clouds and darkness surround him,
justice and right uphold his throne. R.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory. R.
A light has dawned for the righteous,
a joy to the upright in heart.
Rejoice, righteous, in the Lord,
of his holiness celebrate the memory. R.
We praise you, God, we proclaim you Lord;
the choir of the apostles acclaims you.
The other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first.
From the Gospel according to John
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him."
Peter then went out with the other disciple and they went to the tomb. They both ran together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down, saw the towels placed there, but did not enter.
Meanwhile Simon Peter also arrived, following him, and entered the tomb and observed the cloths laid there, and the shroud - which had been on his head - not laid there with the cloths, but wrapped up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, who had reached the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
Word of the Lord.
St. Augustine (354-430)
Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Treatise on the first letter of John (1,1) (Nuova Biblioteca Agostiniana-rev.)
"He saw and believed"
“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked on and what our hands have touched, is the Word of life” (Jn 1:14) .
This Word made flesh up to being able to touch with the hands, began to be flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Instead, it was not at that time that he began to be the Word, because John says that the Word was from the beginning. Since you have just heard the words repeated: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God" (Jn 1:1), you can see how John, in his Epistle, is in perfect harmony with his Gospel.
Someone could refer the expression Word of life to some particular way of speaking of Christ and not to his body itself which was touched with the hands. But look at the words that follow: "Life itself is made manifest" (1 Jn 1:2). Therefore Christ is the Word of life. But how did this life manifest itself? It was from the beginning, but had not yet manifested itself to men; instead she was manifested to the angels who contemplated her and fed on her as their bread.
This is what Scripture says: "Man ate the bread of angels" (Ps 77:25). Therefore Life itself manifested itself in the flesh; it manifested itself so that what only the heart can see could also be seen by the eyes and so that hearts could heal.
Only with the heart can the Word be seen; not with the eyes of the body. We could see the flesh, but we didn't have the means to see the Word. Then the Word became flesh (…), in order to obtain the healing of that inner sight which alone can make us see the Word. (…)
"We bear witness - says Saint John - and proclaim to you eternal life, which was with the Father and made visible to us" (1 Jn 1:2).
WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER
The grave is the place where those who enter do not leave.
But Jesus came out for us, he rose for us, to bring life where there was death, to start a new story where a stone had been set aside.
He, who overturned the boulder at the entrance to the tomb, can remove the boulders that seal the heart. So let's not give in to resignation, let's not put a stone on hope.
We can and must hope, because God is faithful. He didn't leave us alone, he visited us: he came to all our situations, in pain, anguish, in death.
His light has illuminated the darkness of the tomb: today he wants to reach the darkest corners of life. Sister, brother, even if you have buried hope in your heart, do not give up: God is greater.
Darkness and death do not have the last word. Courage, with God nothing is lost! (Homily, April 11, 2020)