‘That which was from the beginning, which
we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes and touche with our
the Word of Life'. Who could touch the Word
with his hands, were
it not that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us?
This Word, who became flesh in order that he
could be touched
by hands, began to be flesh in the Virgin Mary's
womb. But he did
not then begin to be the Word; for St John says, ‘That
which was from the
beginning'. See how his letter corroborates his
gospel, from which
you heard a short time ago, ‘In the beginning was the
Word and the Word
was with God'.
Possibly some may understand ‘concerning the Word of
life' as a vague
expression referring to Christ, not meaning that very
body of Christ which
was touched by hands. But you must take into
account what follow,
‘And life itself was made manifest'. It is
Christ, therefore, who
is the Word of life.
And how was life manifested? It was from
but it had not been manifested to men; yet it had been
revealed to the
angels, as they saw it and were nourished by it as if
it were their bread.
What does scripture say? ‘Man has eaten bread of
So the life itself was made manifest in the
flesh, because it
depended on ‘manifestation', that a reality only
perceptible to the heart
might also be visible to our eyes, and thus heal our
the Word is seen only by the heart, but the flesh is
seen also by bodily
eyes. There was in fact flesh which we could
see, in order to heal
the heart, the means by which we could see the Word.
‘And we are witnesses', he says, ‘and proclaim to you
the eternal life,
which was with the Father and was made manifest among
us'; to make the
text clearer it is permissible to read ‘was made
manifest to us'.
‘That which we have seen and heard therefore we
proclaim to you'.
My dear brethren in Christ, take note of this: ‘that
which we have seen
and heard therefore we proclaim to you'. They -
namely the writers
- saw the Lord himself, present in the flesh and heard
the words from the
Lord's own lips, and proclaimed them to us. So
we also have heard,
but we have not seen.
Is it to be concluded that we are less blessed than
those who heard
and also saw? How then does the writer add,
‘that you say have fellowship
with us'? They saw, we have not seen; and yet we
are in fellowship
with them, for we hold a common faith.
‘And our fellowship is with God the Father and with
his Son Jesus Christ.
And', he adds, ‘we are writing this that you joy may
This complete joy of which he speaks is in that very
in that very love, in that very unity.