December 27, Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist
Daily Readings: 1 John 1:1-4 & John 20:1a; 2-8
Today we celebrate the feast of St John, Apostle and Evangelist. John was one of the twelve Apostles and the brother of James whose father was Zebedee. He was a fisherman who left everything and followed Jesus. He was the only Apostle who did not die by martyrdom for his faith, but instead, lived to a very old age after the Resurrection of Jesus.
John wrote the fourth Gospel, three Letters and also the book of Revelation in which he wrote about his heavenly visions of what is to come at the end of time.
John is known as the Beloved disciple who experienced the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor, who sat next to Jesus at the Last Supper, who remained faithful to Jesus and was there at his Crucifixion when Jesus entrusted Mary his mother to the care of John. He was also with Peter who went to the tomb early on the first day of the week and discovered that Jesus had risen from the dead.
It is not surprising then, with such personal encounters with Jesus that John's Gospel and his writings convey such deep reflections and profound insights into Jesus and his teachings.
Today, both the first reading and the Gospel come from St John. For the Mass on Christmas Morning, we had the Prologue of John which helped us to reflect on the deeper meaning of God's Word at creation to the birth of Jesus when the "The Word became flesh and lived among us."
The first reading from John's First Letter which we will hear at Mass today, draws us again into the nearness of God to us through the coming of his Son into the world.
In this letter, John echoes what he wrote in the first chapter of his Gospel when he spoke of the Word, existing from the beginning and becoming flesh.
"What was from the beginning…was made visible to us." He makes this great mystery almost tangible - "What we have heard, what we have seen and touched with our hands concerns the Word of Life."
John is writing this Letter to make God's joy complete in the lives of the people and that includes us.
The Gospel is an account of the Resurrection when John the beloved disciple, went to the tomb early on the first day of the week to discover with Peter, that Jesus was not in the tomb but had risen from the dead.
The Collect of today's Mas expresses beautifully how the Apostle, John unlocked for us the secrets of God's Word. "We pray, that we may grasp with proper understanding what he has so marvelously brought to our ears."
Saint John through his inspired writings, is a gift to the Church in all ages. Reflect, today, upon this great Apostle. Offer your prayer of thanksgiving for his deep insightful writings and try to enter into his mind and heart as he prayerfully reflected upon Jesus throughout his life.
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