Feast of Saint John, evangelist – 1 John 1:1-4; John 20:2-8

We are writing this to you to make your own joy complete (1 J 1:4).

We are still in the joy of Christmas, and the Liturgy of the Word today directs our attention to the last stage of Jesus’ earthly journey. In the Gospel today we hear about an empty tomb. Jesus came to earth as a Man to defeat death, to open heaven and thus give us a chance to participate in salvation. There would be no such beautiful family celebrations if Jesus had not become Man. There could be nothing much more important than the holy days – the sacraments that enable us to unite with Jesus here on earth, despite our sins. There would be no possibility of meeting Him in heaven one day.

Saint John in both today’s readings, testifies about Jesus and His resurrection. It’s thanks to the testimonies of those who saw and believed that we too can live in the hope of resurrection. And the response to the gift of redemption is to be our faith, which should flow from love for God, not from fear of eternal death.