A living link
but he was still physically agile and mentally sharp.
What made him interesting, however,
was not so much how well he had aged,
but rather how much he had experienced
and how much good he had done for so long.
The young people could only marvel
as he spoke of things
that seemed to them ancient history
but that he himself had lived through.
He was a living link to the past:
a link that reached back even beyond his lifespan,
for when the old man was young,
he himself had learned much from the old men of that day,
especially one very special old man.
Thus when young people gathered
around the old man now in their midst,
he could tell them of things
that had happened more than a century before
and that he himself had heard
from that very special old man:
someone who had actually been there,
someone who spoke of amazing events
with simple, wonderful words...
This is what we proclaim to you:
what was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we have looked upon,
and our hands have touched
-- we speak of the word of life.
(1 John 1:1)
St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna
and disciple of St. John the Apostle,
was martyred for the faith
on this day in the year 155 at the age of 86.
(adapted from an earlier post)