Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)

These verses capture the purpose of the Gospel; it is written so that we can experience and share the life of God which comes through believing in Christ.

The life which Christ offers us in John is more than physical life. It is a life which brings us into union with God and comes as a result of our knowledge of God. “And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Knowledge of God does not mean intellectual knowledge. It means belief in God, faith in God, trust in God. When this takes place we establish a relationship with God and our lives are lived in accordance with God’s law. To know God is to have an intimate relationship with God.

Jesus came to offer us life; very often John calls it eternal life. What is eternal life? Contrary to popular belief, eternal life is more than a life without end. This might be part of it, but eternal life is the life we share with God. Eternal life is not something that takes place at death, it is a living reality we experience now, and it will come to its full fruition at the resurrection of the dead. Eternal life is a gift which begins at the Font, through baptism we become members of Christ and the Holy Spirit brings us into union with God.

Resurrection life is eternal life. Because of our mystical relationship with God we are able to have eternal life. Eternal life cannot be enjoyed unless one has a personal relationship with the risen and ascended Christ. When are in a relationship with Christ, the Divine energy directs and transforms our lives so that we can please God in all that we do.

Eternal life gives us abundant life. Abundant life in John’s Gospel does not mean a life of prosperity and wealth. If you interpret abundant life to mean wealth, riches, money, all the luxuries of life, life free from pain and disease, you will be disappointed. Abundant life is life lived in union with God. It is a life of peace. People who live abundant lives are at peace with God and their neighbours and themselves. One of the great benefits of abundant life is peaceful living. It is a life which is not frustrated or daunted by the various obstacles and challenges we encounter in daily living because it is always lived in the presence of God. If you want to have an abundant life you have to do what the Gospel says: love God and love you neighbour.

Eternal life makes it possible for us to live. The resurrection gives us new life and challenges us to live.

There are different understandings of what it means to live. Are you alive or are you living? Which one are you? Will you say, “I am alive” or “I am living” .The two are not the same. Are you alive or are you living? There is a difference between just being alive and living.

To be alive means mere existence, meeting the basic human needs. Sometimes you ask someone “how are you” and the person replies “the most I can say is I am alive”. That is not positive. Just to be alive is to go with the tide; it does not describe a life of quality, meaning and purpose. If you are just alive, your life is not going anyway.

Christians who share the resurrection life of Jesus are people who ought to be living. Living life means that we are able to appreciate and enjoy life. When we are living, life has a purpose and it is moving towards its goals. Living describes a fulfilled life, a satisfied life, a peaceful life, a life that is positive, productive, a life that has meaning. When you are living you can see where your life is going. People who are living are excited about life and everything that goes with it. Living people are achievers, they know what they want and they go for it. Living people are able to cope with everything that life throws up; living people do not run away from difficulties; living people fight and persevere. Are you living or are you alive?

It is not too difficult to separate ‘living’ people from ‘alive’ people. Too many people are alive and not living. We have to look at ourselves and see if we are living or just alive, we have to at our sons and daughters, our grandsons and grand daughters, and try to discover if they are living or just alive, we have to do the same with our friends and workmates.

Part of our responsibility as Christians is to help people live. We can only help people to live if we are living. Without the life of God we cannot truly live. We have a duty to share the resurrection life of Jesus with others so that they might have life and live. 

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