“Beloved: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life … we proclaim now to you…” – 1 Jn 1:1, 3a

“Why do you always speak to us about love? Tell us about other things Jesus taught?” According to Christian tradition, this question was posed to the Beloved Disciple (John) by his disciples. He answered, “This is the central truth that Jesus taught and lived, there is no greater message I can pass on to you.” The beginning of the First Letter of John echoes this urgency. Its author can barely contain his overflowing excitement. It is as if he’s saying: “I have seen with my own eyes, heard with my own ears, and felt with my very hands someone who touches my deepest longings and elicits purpose and meaning in my life in a way that surpasses my wildest imaginations…”

My five-month old niece, Raven, has eyes that dance with discovery, delight, and wonderment. She smiles not just with her open mouth, but also with her plumb cheeks and eager eyes. Everyone is drawn into her joy of encountering the eternal newness of each moment. Half an hour with her is timeless.

Raven helps me enter a sense of wonder that comes from experiencing something or someone so life-giving that one can barely contain. Like something that bursts within, one can’t wait to share it with others.

The Beloved Disciple is someone who has a special bond and intimacy with Jesus that he can hardly speak about anything else.  Today’s feast is about this kind of friendship with the Divine. It celebrates a heartfelt knowing of Christ’s love, even at the foot of the cross of life or in an empty tomb of loneliness or injustice. Two days after Christmas, we are challenged to let this love take hold of us. And allow it to transform the way we experience life with greater wonder.

What goodness touches you in such a way that you cannot keep it to yourself? Ask God how you might embrace this gift more fully and share it with others wholeheartedly.