What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you.

The apostle John, whose feast we celebrate today, begins his first letter by describing why he is able to proclaim the gospel to his readers and listeners: he has firsthand experience of the Lord. He is saying that his words carry a lot of weight because he heard, saw, and even touched Jesus.

Even though you haven’t touched Jesus in the same way that the apostle John did, you, too, have been close to him. Every time you receive the Eucharist, you touch him, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. You have also seen and heard Jesus, the Word made flesh, every time you read and pray with Scripture.

Every time you encounter Jesus in these ways, God’s Spirit is at work in you, changing you and molding you into his image. As a “firsthand” witness of Jesus’ presence and power, you have experienced the transformation that his closeness brings about—probably more than you even know! And like St. John, you can share what you have experienced.

That might make you feel nervous, but be encouraged that, in the words of Pope Paul VI, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (On Evangelization in the Modern World, 41). Has God freed you from the pain of the past? Share his wonderful work with others. Has he led you to be more patient and kind? Tell people about it! Have you received direction for your life? Explain how! Say, along with St. John, “What [I] have seen and heard [I] proclaim now to you.”

So don’t be afraid! As John later writes, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). Invite God’s perfect love to drive out from you all fear and hesitation of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Proclaim today what you have seen and heard!

“Jesus, you have transformed my life. Help me to share the good news boldly.”

1 John 1:1-4
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
John 20:1-8


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