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St. John's Prologue

"The Prologue to John’s Gospel describes Jesus as "full of grace and truth"[…] "He dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (1:14). This is a compelling description of a person! The author of The Fourth Gospel had grown up a pious Jew trained in Jewish values. He already knew what grace and truth were. Grace was God's loving kindness shown to his people, and truth meant unyielding fidelity to promises and commitments.

Grace and Truth

These are ideals to be sought after; we regret that we cannot realize them, often not gracious in defeat for instance. A gracious person is a treasure, always good, patient and kind, not jealous or boastful, not arrogant or rude, not insisting always on his or her own way, not irritable or resentful, not rejoicing at wrong, but always rejoicing in what is right, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things. So wrote St.Paul in 1 Cor 13. This vision of human excellence inspired the recently canonized saint John Henry Newman. He wrote: "The Apostles were gentlemen […] not that they made a good bow, wore kid gloves, or spoke Attic Greek, but their minds and their hearts were refined. I have always maintained that St. Paul, as seen in his Epistles, was the first of gentlemen- and if you would look for the precepts of courtesy and grace, which the world so much admires, you must go to him for them" (LD.XII.p.159). This was entirely consonant with pursuing the ideals of Christianity. What Newman found in Paul was the ideal of human and divine virtues lived out every day as discipleship. Behind St. Paul, of course, was Jesus himself: for me to live is Christ (Phil 1:21). Saint Luke recounts St. Peter’s words in his famous speech to the Gentile Cornelius, in the Acts of the Apostles: Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38). The whole world was thus given a very simple and accessible summary of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, with the invitation to follow him, and realize human potential to the full." Read more>>

Rev. Richard J. Taylor

Spiritual Advisor, MaterCare

Boarbank Hall, Cumbria, UK

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