Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 27, 2012

Feast of St. John the Evangelist

Today, as we celebrate the feast of St. John, the readings suggest what some might consider a true philosophical challenge for early in the morning.  We begin reading some of St. John's writings.   Just as a writer today might attempt to present the challenges of ethical or moral issues that confront society, St. John was attempting to refute some of the philosophical debates of the early Church.  In particular John was engaged in a debate with those who did not believe that the man Jesus was fully God or that God would be come a human being.  He is writing about "body" issues of his times.

Some would say that pelvic issues are among the major issues of the body for the Church today.  An aspect of "body" was very much alive in St. John's days.  There were Gnostics and Docetists that challenged the treaching of the early Church.  It was very difficult for some to accept that God had indeed become fully human.  It is St. John's intention to challenge those who did not accept that God had become a human being to the fullest extent.  For most today, there is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as fully God and fully man.

The Gnostics could not accept the body as good.  For them it was evil.  Therefore, of course, to maintain that Jesus Christ is God was impossible because Jesus had a body which was evil.  John wishes to bring to consideration that all that God created is good not evil.

Are there not moments or realities in our world today where we encounter people who find it difficult to accept, for example, that the bread and wine in the Eucharist are not the true body and blood of Jesus?

The challenge continues.  To believe Jesus is God, that God is present to us in the Eucharist, is difficult for some.  Therefore, we need to remind ourselves that our "faith" is an experience of what we cannot necessarily prove.

Let us read carefully the words of St. John throughout his gospel and letters.  Let us pray for the grace to accept what the Church teaches us in matters such as these.