December 27, 2014
Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist
Click here for the complete text of today’s readings.
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 (1John 1:3).
In the second book of the Bible “the LORD God said, “It is not good that a human should be alone” (Genesis 2:18).
The simplest explanation of this is to go to source of all existence. God is Father, Son and Spirit. In God the Three Persons are one in nature, and differ only in their relationship (interaction) with one another. So, for God, to be is to be in relationship, in an eternal act of relating to other Persons. Relationship is intrinsic to the existence of God. Humans are made in the image of God. Therefore, to live an authentic human life is to live in relationship.
And everybody can.
No one ever has to be lonely. A monk (Brother David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B.) said, “The difference between loneliness and solitude is relationship.” A hermit living alone on a mountain top is kept from loneliness by a deep awareness and acceptance of relationship—first with God, then with all the members of the human race.
Christians have a special sense of relationship with all who, by the divine gift of enlivened faith, experience the koinonia, the “fellowship” or “communion in the Holy Spirit,” that is a recurring theme in the Scriptures. It is also proclaimed in the “Greeting” that introduces every Mass: “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of the Father, and communion in the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (See Acts 2:42; 1Corinthians 1:9; 2Corinthians 6:14; Galatians 2:9; 1John 1:3, 6. 7).
To be honest, the way we celebrate Mass today can hardly be called “celebrating.” And there is very little experience of “communion in the Holy Spirit”—although it is there for those who know how to look for it. For many it is only an experience of adherence to the same beliefs and to a common code of morality.
The truth is, everyone there knows God to some degree, and has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior of the world. Knowing this does give some support to Christians trying to live in contradiction to the prevailing spirit of “the world” embodied in their culture. It just doesn’t give the support it ought to give: the deep, peaceful and exciting awareness of “fellowship—koinonia, ‘communion in the Holy Spirit’—with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”
For that, people have to be in touch with, and express, their experience of personal relationship—that is, personal interaction—with the Father and the Son, in the Spirit.
Let’s begin looking into that. See the next thrilling installment of Christmas Means Christ. What Does Christ Mean To You?
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Make the “Sign of the Cross” frequently throughout the day, asking yourself what it means.