This message of the “beloved” apostle John (see Jn 13:21-30, Jn 18:15-18, Jn 19:26-27, Jn 21:7, and Jn 21:20), whose feast we celebrate today, certainly applies to these first words of his first letter that we hear proclaimed at Mass today (1 Jn 1:1-4). What could be more joyful than conveying the Good News of “the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us”? The sense here is that John could not wait to spread these glad tidings to the entire world (and who could blame him?!), something he spent the rest of his long life doing.
St. John the Evangelist on the Island of Patmos attributed to Giuseppe Vermiglio (1585–1635)
But the inspired words at top really apply to all of Divine Revelation. We can know much about God from what has been given to us in the material universe and in our own being. But the Lord sent His Holy Spirit to give us the rest of the story. Through oral tradition, some of which was written down in what became the Bible, we discover everything that God wanted to convey to us for the sake of our salvation (Dei Verbum, 11). Our joy cannot be complete without knowing the One who created us, the One who saves us, and the One who sanctifies us. Let this be a clarion call to every believer to dive into Scripture and the Catechism to learn about God and His plan for humanity in general and for each and every one of us personally. I can think of no better New Year’s resolution than to come to grow deeper in our Faith and grow closer to the Church for which Christ died.
A great way to do this in the span of one year is to use The Coming Home Network’s free guide found here. Use your Catholic Bible or find one in a local bookstore or online (here is the version used at Mass). A great addition to your reading would be a Bible with a good commentary; I suggest these two worthwhile investments: the Navarre Old Testament (electronic here) and the Ignatius New Testament (electronic here). The Catechism of the Catholic Church can be purchased or found electronically here.
May 2018 be an especially blessed year!