1 John Chapter 1

1 This is what has been from the begin ning, and what we have heard and have seen with our own eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, I mean the Word who is Life¡­

2 The Life made itself known, we have seen Eternal Life and we bear witness, and we are telling you of it. It was with the Father and made himself known to us.

3 So we tell you what we have seen and heard, that you may be in fellowship with us, and us, with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

4 And we write this that our joy may be complete.

Walk in the light

5 We heard his message from him and announce it to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him.

6 If we say we are in fellowship with him, while we walk in darkness, we lie instead of being in truth.

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we are in fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, the Son of God, purifies us from all sin.

8 If we say, ¡°We have no sin,¡± we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all wickedness.

10 If we say that we do not sin, we make God a liar, his word is not in us.


Comments Letter of 1 John, Chapter 1

• 1.1 The Word: see John 1:1. John will not speak about miracles, or revelations, or secrets jealously kept by some initiates. The truth that he relates to us is both simpler and more divine than all this: God, the Eternal Life, has come to live with us.

Life became visible. Do not look for miracles or miraculous powers. Do not expect fantastic revelations about the beyond. Life was revealed as the gift of the Father, the rebirth of a humanity without hope, the divine smile, the unexpected visit of the one seeking to share his life with humans (Pro 8:31). We will not find life in mere books, but through communion with those who have seen and experienced it before us, and who became his Church.

• 5. But if we walk in the light: this is the Christian life.

Over and beyond other truths which people discover, there is a light (an evidence or a presence) which is total Truth and which cannot be divided: one is or is not in the light. It does not give knowledge directly, but affects the whole person who acts, lives, and walks in the Light. Those walking in faith discover this light and find themselves freed from many obstacles:

¨C the partial vision of one who is enthusiastic for a cause but ignores other issues that are equally important, of one who orders one part of his life but leaves in disorder other parts;

¨C the restlessness of one who does not have a goal and who silences his doubts by throwing himself into frantic activity;

¨C the sectarianism that prevents us from being ¡°universal brothers and sisters.¡±

Little by little faith opens for us a global vision of human reality. The first criterion to know if we are walking in the light: have we given up sin? John here denies what certain people say: ¡°Since we are Christians, we are united to God and so the sins of the body are not important.¡±

John declares that if we decide for God, we cannot continue to surrender to sin. Obviously, no one is without sin; we all need the salvation of Christ; but forgiveness itself compels us even more to stay away from sin.

John invites us to confess our sins to God, that is to say, to admit humbly before God that we have sinned, but with confidence in his kindness. If this attitude were not present, the sacrament of ¡°confession¡± would be worthless. On the other hand, confessing our sins in the sacrament of penance helps us keep our hearts open to God.