Second Reading (B): 1 John 5:1-6

The Presence of the Lord

Popular Translation

1 God gave everyone who believes Jesus is the Christ God send into the world a heavenly birth. After all, everyone who loves God loves his Son. 2 We know that we love God's children when we love and obey God. 3 This is what it means to love God. We do what he tells us to do. This is not very difficult.

4 We who believe overcome what the world says or does. Our faith is our victory over the world's evil. Who else but those who believe Jesus is God's Son can overcome the hatred of the world?

6 Jesus Christ shows us he is God's Son through water and blood. Not just water, but water and blood. 7 God's Spirit tells us the same thing, because the Spirit tells us God's truth.

Literal Translation

1 Everyone believing that JESUS is the CHRIST has been born from God, and everyone loving the (parent) having given birth loves the (CHILD) having been born from him. 2 In this, we know that we love the children of God whenever we love God and perform his commands. 3 For this is the love of God, that we might keep his commands, and his commands are not heavy. 4 So, everyone having been born from God conquers the world; and this, our faith, is the victory, the (one) having conquered the world. 5 Who else is the (one) conquering the world except the (one) believing that JESUS is the Son of God? 6 This is the (ONE) having come through water and blood, JESUS CHRIST, not in water alone, but in water and in blood; and the Spirit is the (one) testifying because the Spirit is Truth.

5:1 "everyone loving the (parent) having given birth loves the (CHILD) having been born out of him" In the context of the verse, the parent was God the Father, and the child was God the Son.

These verses were covered in some detail with the study of 1 John 5:1-9 on the Baptism of the Lord (Cycle B). In that study, I mentioned the practical nature of Christianity. It was a religion that integrated prayer with acts of charity. It was not an esoteric religion many contemporaries of the author and his audience wanted. They were Gnostics, those who believed Jesus came as a spirit (in some non-material body) that gave a secret knowledge that led to salvation. With this knowledge (and its practice), one could "save" himself from the evil of the material world. The author of the letter opposed this view with his emphasis on "water, blood, and the Spirit," a clear indication of his belief that God worked in the physical world. (Please see that study for more details.)

In this season of Easter, the reading reaffirms our belief that the Risen Lord is still present and at work in our material universe. HE shares his struggle of water (his Baptism) and blood (his death), and everything in between. He also shares the Spirit, the gift of his resurrection. The Risen Lord is with us in a very real sense.

How have you seen or felt the presence of the Lord in your life this Easter? How have you shared that presence with others?