1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life:
God is from the beginning and before the beginning of time. Jesus is God in the Flesh—the One and only begotten Son of the Father. He is the Word of Life, which the disciples proclaim. They have seen, heard and touched Him. Jesus Christ is the eternal Life, which is our eternal Joy.
2 For the life was manifested; and we have seen and do bear witness, and declare unto you the life eternal, which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us:
John and the disciples testify and guarantee that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, our eternal Life from God, appeared to them. Jesus was manifested unto us – He was a real Person, a real Living Body.
3 That which we have seen and have heard, we declare unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us and our fellowship may be with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
They looked upon Jesus, heard what Jesus said and want us to hear what Jesus said. To have fellowship, “koinonia” (Greek meaning having in common, or sharing with), with each other, to share in everything in Christ.
4 And these things we write to you, that you may rejoice, and your joy may be full.
When we meet and share the Word of God and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), we come to know the Lord’s Love and Grace. As we learn and practice His Word, His Joy will be in us our Joy will be complete.
5 And this is the declaration which we have heard from him, and declare unto you: That God is light, and in him there is no darkness.
God declared to the disciples and to us that He is Light. In His all encompassing Light, there is no darkness. God’s Light is radiant and pure guiding us through the darkness of sin.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.
To have Fellowship with God we are walking in His Light – which is listening to the Word of God and doing it. You and I are deceiving ourselves when we are not doing our utmost to follow and practice His Word.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
When we are walking in the Light of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, we are sharing the Word of God with each other. This is the Light of Everlasting Life. To have this Fellowship we must not be living in sin. God brought His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to cleanse and purify us.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
We have to face the Truth and not deceive ourselves – we are all sinners. We are all responsible for our thoughts and deeds. Only God is perfect and without sin. When the Holy Spirit Lives in us, we know the difference between right and wrong.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.
God Loves us so much that He let His only begotten Son be crucified to wash away our sins. But we must confess our sins, ask for forgiveness and resolve to do our best – to restore our Communion with God. In His Love and Mercy, God will forgive and cleanse us from every sin.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
When God’s Word is in our lives, we confess our sins and ask forgiveness and reconciliation. God’s constant Love for us, surrounded by this pure and radiant Light, guides us through the darkness of sin and onto the Path of Hope here and in eternity.
Bow your heads in thankfulness. Spread out your hands feeling the warmth of His Touch. Listen to His Voice inside you. Rejoice and open your minds and hearts to God’s greatest Gift to us – Eternal Life through His Beloved Son Jesus Christ our Savior
Joan E. Swails, OSB/BCSA Oblate, September 2013