Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist
Catholic Word of the Day: JOHN THE APOSTLE, 03-08-11
The Twelve Apostles of the Catholic Church: St. John [Catholic Caucus]
The Book on Love from the Beloved Disciple
Feast of St. John (Apostle and Evangelist)
John the Apostle (Theologian)
The Falling Asleep of St. John the Evangelist and Theologian September 26
Where the Beloved Disciple Finally Rested
Orthodox Feast of The Falling Asleep of St. John the Evangelist and Theologian, September 26
St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
Mary’s House — Walking in the Footsteps of St. John
Information: St. John the Apostle
Feast Day: December 27
Born: 6 AD, Galilee, in the Holy Land
Died: 101, Ephesus, Asia Minor
Patron of: authors, burns, poisoning, theologians, publishers, booksellers, editors, friendships, and painters
St. John the Apostle
Feast Day: December 27
Born :(around the time of Jesus) :: Died: (around 100)
St. John was born to Zebedee and Salome. He was a fisherman in Galilee and was called along with his brother St. James to be an apostle. Jesus gave these sons of Zebedee the nickname, “sons of thunder.”
St. John was the youngest of the apostles and Jesus loved him dearly. At the Last Supper, John leaned his head on the chest of Jesus to comfort him.
John was also the only apostle who did not desert Jesus during his passion and stood at the foot of the cross. The dying Jesus asked John to care for his Blessed Mother, Mary.
Turning to Mary, he said to John, “Behold your mother.” So the rest of her life on earth, the Blessed Mother lived with St. John. He alone had the great honor of assisting and caring for the all-pure Mother of God.
On Easter morning, Mary Magdalene and the other women went with spices to Jesus’ tomb to anoint his body. They came running back to the apostles with exciting news. The body of Jesus was gone from the tomb.
Peter and John went to see if this was true. John arrived first but waited for Peter to go in ahead of him. Then he went in and saw the neatly folded linen cloths.
Later that same week, the disciples were fishing on the lake of Tiberias but did not catch any fish. A man standing on the beach asked them to let down their nets on the other side of the boat. When they pulled it up again it was full of large fish.
St. John, immediately knew this was Jesus, and called to Peter, “It is the Lord.” With the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the apostles were filled with new courage and St. John and St. Peter were thrown into prison for preaching the good news without fear.
After the Ascension, John performed many miracles in the name of Jesus. Hearing him preach, hundreds of people were baptized and became followers of Jesus so St. John founded churches in Asia Minor for the people.
John lived for more than 100 years. He led a life of suffering, preached the Gospel, and became bishop of Ephesus. In the last years of his life, when he could no longer preach, his disciples would carry him to the crowds of Christians. His simple message was, “My dear children, love one another.”
St. John died in Ephesus (modern Turkey) around the year 100. A church was built over his tomb and was later converted to a mosque.
Daily Readings for:December 27, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: O God, who through the blessed Apostle John have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word, grant, we pray, that we may grasp with proper understanding what he has so marvelously brought to our ears. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
· Christmas: December 27th
· Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist
Old Calendar: St. John
Today is the third day in the octave of Christmas. The Church celebrates the Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist. Born in Bethsaida, he was called while mending his nets to follow Jesus. He became the beloved disciple of Jesus. He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Apocalypse. His passages on the pre-existence of the Word, who by His Incarnation became the light of the world and the life of our souls, are among the finest of the New Testament. He is the evangelist of the divinity of Christ and His fraternal love. With James, his brother, and Simon Peter, he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration. At the Last Supper, he leans on the Master’s breast. At the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusts His Mother to his care. John’s pure life kept him very close to Jesus and Mary in years to come. John was exiled to the island of Patmos under Emperor Domitian.
St. John, the Evangelist, who is styled in the Gospel, “the beloved disciple”, was a Galilean, son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother to St. James the Greater, both of whom were fishermen. The two were called by Jesus to be disciples as they were mending their nets by the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus showed St. John particular instances of kindness and affection above all the rest. He had the happiness to be present with Peter and James at the Transfiguration of Christ, and was permitted to witness His agony in the Garden. He was allowed to rest on Our Savior’s bosom at the Last Supper, and to him Jesus confided the care of His holy Mother as He hung dying on the Cross.
St. John was the only one of the Apostles who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion and Death.
It seems that St. John remained for a long time in Jerusalem, but that his later years were spent at Ephesus, whence he founded many churches in Asia Minor. St. John wrote his Gospel after the other Evangelists, about sixty-three years after the Ascension of Christ; also three Epistles, and the wonderful and mysterious Book of the Apocalypse or Revelation. He was brought to Rome and, according to tradition, was cast into a caldron of boiling oil by order of Emperor Domitian. Like the Three Children in the fiery furnace of Babylon, he was miraculously preserved unhurt.
He was later exiled to the Island of Patmos, where he wrote the Apocalypse, but afterwards returned to Ephesus.
In his extreme old age he continued to visit the churches of Asia. St. Jerome relates that when age and weakness grew upon him so that he was no longer able to preach to the people, he would be carried to the assembly of the faithful by his disciples, with great difficulty; and every time said to his flock only these words: “My dear children, love one another.”
St. John died in peace at Ephesus in the third year of Trajan (as seems to be gathered from Eusebius’ history of the Saint); that is, the hundredth of the Christian era, or the sixty-sixth from the crucifixion of Christ, St. John then being about ninety-four years old, according to St. Epiphanus.
Excerpted from Heavenly Friends, St. Paul Editions
Patron: Against poison; art dealers; authors; bookbinders; booksellers; burns; compositors; editors; engravers; friendships; lithographers; painters; papermakers; poisoning; printers; publishers; tanners; theologians; typesetters; writers; Asia Minor; Taos, New Mexico; Umbria, Italy; diocese of Cleveland, Ohio; diocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Symbols: Cup or chalice and serpent (cup or sorrow foretold by Jesus); eagle rising out of a cauldron (refers to being a martyr of spirit, but not in deed); serpent entwined on a sword; grave; Prester John seated on tomb, with book, orb, and sword; eagle on a closed book; scroll of his Gospel; scroll of the Apocalypse; nimbed eagle; book.
Meditation: John 20:1-8
Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist
He ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first. (John 20:4)
No matter now many remarkable accomplishments can be attributed to St. John—and there are many—he is probably best known and loved for his passion. Don’t you find that remarkable? John was one of the pioneers of primitive Christianity. He founded and led churches throughout Asia Minor. He was even one of the earliest and most detailed witnesses to the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth. And yet we remember him most for his passionate love of the Lord. We catch a glimpse of that passion in today’s Gospel as we read about how he outran Peter to see the empty tomb. He couldn’t contain himself. He so wanted to believe that Jesus really had risen!
John’s passion for Jesus stretched back to his initial encounter with the Lord. On the banks of the Sea of Galilee, he left the security of father, home, and livelihood at Jesus’ invitation—and he never looked back. We also see his passion when he suggested calling down fire from heaven against some people who refused to welcome Jesus into their town. It shows up again when we learn that Jesus had nicknamed him and his brother, James, the “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17).
Such a portrait of John tells us how intently he listened to Jesus’ preaching and teaching, how closely he watched Jesus heal and deliver people, and how open he was whenever Jesus spoke to him. No wonder we celebrate his feast day during the Christmas season—a season so focused on Jesus’ own passionate love for us!
John’s passion can be ours, too. As we cooperate with the ever-present grace of God, we can come to know him more and more clearly. We can taste his own passion for us, and that passion will enkindle a fire in our hearts. Even the smallest step of obedience, surrender, or cooperation with God can spark the flame. God doesn’t need much from us, just an open heart and a flexible will. So seek Jesus today. May we all become beloved disciples just like John!
“Lord, grant me the grace to love you with everything that I am. Thank you for being so single-minded in your devotion to me. By your Spirit, may I be just as single-minded for you.”
1 John 1:1-4; Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
JESUS INVITES US TO HIS TABLE AS HIS INTIMATE FRIENDS
(A biblical reflection on the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist – Friday, 27 December 2013)
First Reading: 1John 1:1-4
Psalms: Psalm 97:1-2,5-6.11-12; Gospel Reading: John 20:2-8
The Scripture Text
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. (1John 1:1-4 RSV)
“Which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” (1John 1:1).
Saint John the Evangelist knew Jesus so intimately that he could say he saw, touched, and experienced the very life and power that comes from God. In his personal encounter with Jesus, John saw more than a great teacher, prophet, or healer. He encountered the living God who became flesh for our sake (see John 1:14). That’s why he called Jesus the “Word of life”, the One who brought life into existence when He created the universe, and the One who restores life through His power to heal broken hearts and hurting bodies. Jesus not only brought the dead back to life, He offers unending life and unbroken fellowship with God here and now.
John wrote to believers in Asia Minor who had never seen or spoken with Jesus. Yet he told them that they too could see and touch the One who created them in love and redeemed them for love. And in a way, John makes the same promise to us as well. How is that possible? In the Eucharist, Jesus invites us to His table as His intimate friends. He is just as present for us in the Eucharist as He was for John at the Last Supper and on Easter Sunday when He appeared to the frightened disciples in the upper room.
Every time we come to the Lord’s table at Mass, Jesus feeds us with the rich food of His life-giving word and His very own body and blood. As we listen to the readings from Scripture, Jesus Himself is speaking to us, heart to heart. As we stand together in prayer, we are touching Jesus in one another, welcoming Him as fully as we welcome each other into our hearts.
Just as material food nourishes our bodies, so the Body and Blood of Christ nourish, heal, and strengthen our spirits. As manna preserved the Israelites in the desert, so the Eucharist protects us on our journey to heaven. Remember: Every time we celebrate Mass, we anticipate the heavenly banquet that awaits us. Let us never lose sight that in this special gathering, we can all “taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You invite us over and over again to feast at Your banquet table. You are the Bread of Life that sustains us day by day. May Your holy Name, be glorified, for ever and ever. Amen.
Seeing Jesus in the Gospel of John | An Excerpt from On The Way to Jesus Christ | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
The farewell discourses of Jesus, as the Gospel of John presents them to us, hover in a singular way between time and eternity, between the present hour of the Passion and the new presence of Jesus that is already dawning, because the Passion itself is at the same time his “glorification” as well. On the one hand, the darkness of the betrayal, of the denial, of the abandonment of Jesus to the ultimate ignominy of the Cross weighs upon these discourses; in them, on the other hand, it seems that all of this has already been overcome and resolved into the glory that is to come.
Thus Jesus describes his Passion as a going away that leads to a new and fuller coming–as a state of being-on-the-way with which the disciples are already acquainted. Thereupon Thomas, surprised, asks the question, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus answers with a statement that has become one of the central texts of Christology: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
This revelation of the Lord, however, elicits a new question now-or rather, a request, which this time is made by Philip: “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” Again Jesus replies with a revelatory word, which leads from another perspective into the very depths of his self-consciousness, into the very depths of the Church’s faith in Christ: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:2-9). The primordial human longing to see God had taken, in the Old Testament, the form of “seeking the face of God”. The disciples of Jesus are men who are seeking God’s face. That is why they joined up with Jesus and followed after him. Now Philip lays this longing before the Lord and receives a surprising answer, in which the novelty of the New Testament, the new thing that is coming through Christ, shines as though in crystallized form: Yes, you can see God. Whoever sees Christ sees him.
This answer, which characterizes Christianity as a religion of fulfillment, as a religion of the divine presence, nevertheless immediately evokes a new question. “Already and not yet” has been called the fundamental attitude of Christian living; what this means becomes evident precisely in this passage. For the next question is now (for all of post-apostolic Christianity, at least): How can you see Christ and see him in such a way that you see the Father at the same time?
This abiding question is placed in the Gospel of John, not in the discourses in the Cenacle, but rather in the Palm Sunday account. There it is related that some Greeks, who had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship, came to Philip–that is, to the disciple who in the Cenacle would voice the request to see the Father. These Greeks present their request to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, an extensively Hellenized part of the Holy Land: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus”‘ (Jn 12:20-21). It is the request of the pagan world, but it is also the request of the Christian faithful of all times, our request: We want to see Jesus. How can that happen?
Drink to the Love of Saint John!
Friday, 27 December 2013 07:02
Blessing of Wine on the Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist
On the Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, at the end of the principal Mass, that is, after the last Gospel, the priest, retaining all his vestments except the maniple, in the following manner blesses wine brought by the people in memory and in honor of Saint John, who drank poison without harm:
The Lord is my Shepherd and I will lack nothing; He leadeth me to encamp in green pastures. He leadeth me to refreshing waters; He reneweth my thirsting soul.
He guideth me on straight paths for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through deadly gloom, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.
Thy rod and thy staff, they give me security.
Thou preparest for me a banquet in sight of my oppressors.
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup overflows, and how good it is!
Thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord to the end of my days.
Glory be to the Father.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Our Father, inaudibly until
V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.
Preserve thy servants.
R. That trust in thee, my God.
V. Send them aid, O Lord, from heaven.
R. And from Sion watch over them.
V. Let the enemy be powerless over them.
R. And the son of evil do nothing to harm them.
V. And should they drink anything deadly.
R. May it not hurt them.
O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.
Let us pray.
Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God!
Who didst will that thy Son, equal to thee in eternity and substance,
should descend from heaven
and in the fulness of time take temporal birth of the most holy Virgin Mary,
so that He could seek the lost and wayward sheep
and carry it on His shoulders to the sheepfold,
and could cure the man fallen among robbers of his wounds
by pouring in oil and wine
– do thou bless + and sanctify + this wine
which thou hast vintaged for man’s drink.
Whoever partakes of it on this holy solemnity,
grant him life in body and soul.
By thy goodness let it be to him strength in the pilgrimage
to prosper him on the way,
that his journey may come to a happy termination.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst call thyself the true vine
and thy holy apostles the branches,
and didst desire to plant a chosen vineyard of all who love thee,
bless + this wine and impart to it the power of thy benediction.
And as thy beloved disciple John, Apostle and Evangelist
intercedes for them that partake thereof,
grant them security from all deadly and poisonous afflictions
and constant good health of soul and body.
Who livest and reignest forever.
Let us pray.
O God, thou givest to man bread to eat and wine to drink –
bread to nourish the body and wine to cheer the heart.
And as thou didst confer upon blessed John, thy beloved disciple
such favour that not only did he himself escape the poisoned potion,
but could restore life to others so overcome;
do thou grant to all that drink this wine spiritual joy and eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son,
who with Thee, liveth and reigneth, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
It is sprinkled with Holy Water.
With Saint John: into the love of things invisible
Friday, 27 December 2013 07:24
Saint John by Sir Ninian Comper, Lady Chapel of Downside Abbey Church. Thanks to the ever gracious Father Lawrence, O.P. for the use of his photo.
The Logic of the Liturgy
The liturgy has a marvelous logic all its own. On this third day of the Christmas octave, Mother Church gives us a Resurrection Gospel, taken from the very last chapter of Saint John! While we are yet at the manger, the liturgy compels us to gaze into the face of the risen Christ! John, the disciple whom Jesus loved is there before us. Indeed, it was he who arrived first at the sepulchre, preceding the Prince of the Apostles. Saint John’s virginal love gave wings to his feet. “Draw me in thy footsteps,” says the bride of the Canticle, “let us run” (Ct 1:4). John is the first of those who set out in search of the Body of Christ; arriving even before Peter, and yet deferring to him.
Peter and John
The Petrine authority in the Church is firmly established by Christ on the solid rock of Peter; it continues through the successors of Peter: teaching, reproving, testing, correcting, forgiving and calling together in unity. The Johannine authority in the Church is not hierarchical, but belongs, rather, to the order of graces freely given for the upbuilding of the Body of Christ; it speaks with the voice of love, with the inimitable accents of direct experience. It is the authority of the saints and mystics, the authority of holiness, the authority of the greatly loved and of the great lovers. “I belong to my love, and my love to me” (Ct 6:3).
What We Have Seen and Heard
The Church has need of both voices. She needs the strong, unwavering voice of Peter; she also needs the many-voiced Johannine chorus of those who sing: “Something which has existed since the beginning, that we have heard, and we have seen with our own eyes; that we have contemplated and touched with our own hands: the Word who is life–this is our theme. That life was made visible; we saw it and are giving our testimony. . . . We declare to you what we have seen and heard, so that you too may share our life” (1 Jn 1:1-3).
Love of Things Invisible
The Johannine chorus speaks with the unmistakable authority of those who have gone into the wine-cellar and rested beneath the banner of love (cf. Ct 2:4-5). Their breath is fragrant with honey and with the honeycomb, of wine and of milk: that is with the imperishable sweetness of the Holy Spirit, with the Blood of the Lamb and with the pure milk of the living Word of God. These are the ones who have eaten and drunk, drunk deeply (cf. Ct 5:1) of the streams of living water that flow ever fresh from the pierced Heart of the Bridegroom (cf. Jn 7:37-38). These are the descendants of Saint John the Beloved, those to whom the Father has given the eagle’s vision, those who are little enough and poor enough to be borne aloft and carried away into the love of things invisible, as the Preface of Christmas puts it.
Those Who Dwell in the Cleft of the Rock
All through history the spiritual offspring of the Beloved Disciple have, like so many doves, found refuge in the cleft of the rock, the pierced Heart of Jesus. They are found everywhere in the Church and are needed everywhere in the Church; very often they are desert-dwellers, lovers of solitude, hidden away behind enclosure walls that are but the symbol of a deeper desire: “to be hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). But they are found as well in all sorts of other places: in city apartments and in fashionable suburbs, in conditions of extreme poverty and in places of great suffering. When they speak, their word is uttered out of silence and returns to the silence whence its springs. More often than not they sing, for words alone are poor and inadequate; song, at least, lifts words above themselves, breaks them open and allows their fragrance to fill the whole house (cf. Jn 12:3).
The Authority Born of Adoration
The Johannine authority of the Church comes to birth in adoration: in the contemplation of Jesus’ Holy Face, shining with the glory of the Father in the bright cloud of the Holy Spirit on Mount Tabor. It is nourished by the Bread of Life containing in itself all sweetness. Its place of preference is close to the altar, in the radiance of the Most Holy Sacrament. It is instructed in secret: “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me. . . . It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God; everyone who has listened to the Father and learnt from him, comes to me” (Jn 6:44-45).
The Johannine authority is one of love; it flows out of the Heart of Jesus into the heart and mind of whosoever rests his head upon Jesus’ breast. It is purified in Gethsemani where it enters into a bloody struggle with the powers of darkness and of sin. It is steadfast on Calvary where, opening its mouth it inhales the gift of the Spirit, handed over in the breath of the Bridegroom, and where raising its eyes to the Pierced One it contemplates a stream of blood and of water. The Johannine authority of the Church is inseparable from the Virgin Mother, has taken her into its home, lives day by day and hour by hour in her intimacy, learning from her things long cherished in the silence of her Immaculate Heart.
Friends of the Lamb
Finally, the descendants of John — friends of the Lamb — see beyond what is now into a new heaven and a new earth where God will wipe away all tears, where there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness or pain (Ap 21:3-4). On their faces shines already the radiant glory of God and the Lamb himself is their lighted torch. They make their own the cry of the Spirit and of the Bride: “Come! Amen. Come Lord Jesus!”
Disciples of John
By the infinite mercy of the Word made flesh, may we who want to listen to Peter and defer to him in all things, be numbered among the least disciples of John. Amen.
Reparation Is the Exercise of Love
Friday, 27 December 2013 07:50
Be for Me another John,
a friend for My Heart,
a consoler in My loneliness,
an advocate on behalf of poor sinners
and, especially on behalf of fallen priests,
and of those who have lost hope in My infinite mercy.
Be a companion for Me in the Sacrament of My Love,
the Sacrament of My Divine Companionship for every human wayfarer
in this valley of tears.
I remain unknown.
I am left alone.
Even those who claim to profess
the mystery of My real presence
in the Sacrament of the Altar
I am treated with a terrible indifference,
and with a lack of respect
that causes the Angels to weep
because they cannot offer me reparation
for the coldness and indifference of human hearts.
Only men can make reparation for men.
What is lacking is the loving response of a human heart
to My Eucharistic Heart,
pierced, alive, and beating in the Sacrament of the Altar.
Only a human heart can make reparation for a human heart.
For this reason the Angels are sorrowful.
The adoration and the praise they offer Me is angelic.
It is the expression of the perfections I have place
in their angelic nature.
Without ever dying, they immolate themselves before Me
in the tabernacles where I dwell on earth
by lowering themselves in the most humble adoration
and by placing all their angelic perfections
–their beauty, their strength, their intelligence–
beneath My feet.
The Angels are like living flames
who burn in My Eucharistic presence
without ever being consumed.
For all of this, My Angels cannot replace
a single human heart in My presence.
What I look for from men,
what I wait for, above all, from My priests,
my Angels cannot give Me.
And so I turned to Saint John to comfort Me;
to love when the love of others grew cold;
to hope in Me when the trust of others was shaken;
to remain faithful to Me when the faith of others was put to the test.
John was, among the Apostles, My loving friend,
My adorer, the one who understood the mystery of reparation to My Heart.
John made reparation for Peter’s denial of Me,
not by standing in judgment over Peter,
whom he honoured and loved as a father,
but by weeping with Peter,
and by offering himself in reparation for Peter’s fall.
Again, it was John who offered Me faithful love
in exchange for Judas; faithless betrayal.
He made reparation to My Heart that suffered so grievously
when Judas walked out of the Cenacle into the night.
In that moment, John gave Me all the love of his heart,
begging Me to accept it
in reparation for Judas’ cold and calculated plot against Me.
Be another Saint John for My Heart.
Offer Me reparation by offering Me yourself
in the place of those who flee from before My Eucharistic Face;
in the place of those who cannot bear to remain
in my presence, close to My Heart;
in the place of those priests of Mine
who have time for all else save for Me.
Give Me your companionship,
give Me your confidence,
give Me your grateful affection.
Let nothing keep you from carrying out this design of Mine.
One who makes reparation for My priests
will discover on the last day
that His own sins, though they be many,
will be covered over by a single act of reparation,
for reparation is the exercise of love,
and love covers a multitude of sins.
Love Me, and you will fulfill all that I am asking of you.
Love Me, and I will fulfill all that you ask of Me. . . .
I desire a company of Johannine souls, priest adorers and reparators,
and upon them I will pour out rivers of grace
for the renewal of My priesthood
and the joy of My Spouse, the Church.
From In Sinu Iesu, The Journal of A Priest
Feast of Saint John, apostle and evangelist
John20:1a and 2-8
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don´t know where they put him.” So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
Introductory Prayer:Lord, today I am reminded of the intensity of love that you stir in the hearts of your followers. I want to be your follower today. I believe that you love me. I believe that you have overcome sin and death. I believe that you walk with me.
Petition: Lord, give me the joy of discovering you as St. John discovered you.
1. Eager: St. John had been enthused by Christ from the very beginning. Early on Christ had won his heart. In his Gospel, John would record many things about Christ in a very personal way, giving us special insights into Christ. Christ allowed him into his heart, and John’s faith gave him reason to hope in the Resurrection. That is why he runs with such eagerness to the tomb. He does not yet know that Christ is risen, but he wants to know. He wants to be where Christ is. Am I eager to be with Christ? This time of Christmas is a special time in which I can naturally feel attracted to Christ. Do I take advantage of this grace and try to converse more with him?
2. Fast: No hesitation; Get there as quickly as possible. John knows where he has to go. Nothing else is as important. He does not let anything get in the way. A saint lives his life quickly, even if his years are long. He lives it quickly because he lives each day, each moment, intensely for Christ and souls. He lives his prayer life intensely—in spite of the natural fatigue and moments of dryness—because he knows the time spent in prayer is the most important moment of the day. A saint lives his service to his family and to others with the intensity of love. Rather than tiring him, love brings him closer to God. Am I afraid to love and to live with intensity?
3. Believing:John was rewarded for his faith. His Lord is alive! No amount of cruelty and evil—not even death itself—can defeat his Lord. John teaches us to believe in Christ, to discover with joy the signs of his presence. Am I using this Christmas season to reaffirm my faith in Christ’s presence in the world? Do I cultivate a supernatural outlook in the things I do, in the way I deal with those around me? Do I build up confidence in Christ’s victory in souls and discover the signs of that victory?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for St. John’s faith. He was close to your heart. Help me to place my heart in your heart. I want to run to you, Lord, throughout the ups-and-downs of my life, the good times and the bad. Today I will stay close to you in my heart. Stay close to me also.
Resolution:I will pray the Creed in front of a manger scene today and make a special effort to talk about God’s providence in my conversations with others.