Although the beloved disciple John loved much, it was God who first loved him (cf. 1 Jn 4:10). The Father graced him with an unbreakable bond of friendship with his Son. Jesus loved the beloved disciple, called him, ate with him, held him in his gaze, died for him, and rose for him.

This friendship celebrated in Scripture excites a passion in us that causes us to wish that Jesus will rejoice in the Holy Spirit because of us "as he said to them privately, 'Blessed are the eyes that see what you see'" (Lk 10:23). What ecstacy is the intimacy of the Risen Lord!

To be the beloved is to exult in the sweetness of paradisiacal joy. And it is also to be graced with suffering. It is to be one with the crucified and risen Lord, if you are his beloved. It is to see Jesus in the poor, the rich, the miserable, the magnificent--the person closest to us, and the one whose face we have never seen.

On this earthly pilgrimage we know Jesus "in the breaking of the bread." Knowing is not an intellectual exercise but an intimate knowledge of the heart. Heart speaks to heart! Knowing and believing in Jesus is saying "Amen" to him and to every member of his mystical body. we are called to a position of privilege, the mystery of election. We are those "who have been chosen beforehand by God to eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead" (Ac 10:14), for every Eucharist is a post-resurrection meal. The exact identity of the beloved disciple is uncertain. We are the beloved disciple!

Honey from the Rock
Michele T. Gallagher