"...so that our joy may be complete" (1 Jn 1: 4).That's the last line of the Reading on the feast of St John, the Evangelist. John is not forcing down the throat of anyone his experience or convictions. He is merely sharing it with anyone who is willing to hear. His thrill of this experience of union with the Father, through His Son is so great, that he cannot but share it. It is sheer joy that makes him speak up.
"... what we have seen and heard, we now proclaim to you..."What if he himself had not heard or seen or believed? I'm sure he would have shut up and sat idle! Is the reverse of this possible? Do all who proclaim, have an experience of Him? In short, is it possible to preach without experience? Possible, unfortunately! So what then distinguishes this bogus show from the sincere expression? Sheer joy! Not for oneself, but one that is contagious and empowering.
No wonder, Pope Francis calls religious, people of joy!