IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD….[Jn.1:1]
"At the moment as I begin these meditations on the Holy Gospel according to St. John I am in-doors, in the middle of the afternoon, in my 70th year of life, in my 28th year of priesthood, living in an urban hermitage, in a particular city, writing in English, in a particular year of salvation history, and all this within – well you get the point!"
If any of us was to try and list all the instances, there’s another “in”, wherein we are at a given moment likely we would be in for no little stress for once we would have completed the list upon reflection we would discover just how incomplete it is.
Dictionaries we tell us that the word in refers to inclusion in a place, space, limits, a situation, doing something in a particular manner or colour, speaking in a particular language and a whole range of other applications.
As human beings we are always, aware or not, mostly not, experiencing the ‘in-ness’ of life.
We are either indoors or out, in a particular place or going out of and into some other, in particular relationship with someone or group, or not for relationships can end, often do, and new ones are formed and we are then ‘in’ relationship again, though, most likely, ‘in’ a different place/space.
We live in time.
We live in a particular place on planet earth which itself is within the cosmos, in a particular galaxy itself within the universe.
We do not self-create!
We are created within the sacred mystery of the matter of our being originating within the bodies of our parents, themselves from within the bodies of theirs and so on all the way back to the first parents, Adam and Eve who themselves are revealed to us in Genesis which begins with the very words St. John uses to open his Prologue: IN THE BEGINNING…[Gn.1:1]
It is within God’s creative-love act, breathing Himself into Adam that actual life, actual reality begins and like the first human beings we too have life breathed into us, we too have immortal souls, we too have been created to be in communion of love with the Most Holy Trinity within whom in reality all human beings live and move and have our being.
Mysteriously while everyone and everything exists within some aspect of time, history, place, experience of reality, only the Holy Trinity does not exist IN any limitation of time, in any particular place.
There is NO ‘in the beginning’ with God and, unlike for us in our temporal existence, there is no IN the end/ending either.
Scripture scholars publish books all the time dissecting from the original Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, ancient Latin the texts of the canon of Sacred Scripture and many theologians, and mystics, have also composed truly illuminating commentaries.
I am no script scholar, theologian, certainly no mystic – just a baptized, albeit ordained, hermit who writes here personal meditations on the holy Gospel according to St. John.
Why St. John?
Well Bl. Pope John Paul said once that unless we know Jesus Christ we remain incomprehensible to ourselves, so in the first instance I yearn to know the unknowable.
We can never know Jesus the possessive way we can learn and know about most people, most subjects and objects – nonetheless we can, should, strive to know Jesus enough to be in love with He who sees us as His beloved.
St. John, known traditionally as the “beloved disciple”, appeals to me, primarily on this basis of his being in relationship with Jesus.
Finally I have always felt to enter into the depths of the Hebrew Scriptures, what we Christians refer to as the Old Testament, the place to begin is the Holy Gospel according to St. John.
In a word to begin with the Word for ultimately the Father so loves the Son that all exists, we exist, to behold the Son, to behold and be in relationship with Jesus, the way to the Father for, animated by the Holy Spirit only with Jesus, through Jesus can we come to the Father and thus in the life, and please God in life beyond temporal time, history, anxiety, be in communion of love with the Most Holy Trinity.