Monday, December 27, 2010

The Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist

Following closely on the heels of the Feast of St. Stephen, which is a special day for deacons, is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, a day we observe with special reference to our priests.

The first reading for Mass today is from one of my favorite books of the Bible, The First Letter of John, it concludes with these words, words that make chills run down my spine everytime I read them because they give me such great hope:

"what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this so that our joy may be complete."

St. John the Evangelist on Patmos, by Titian 1547

Similarly, today's Gospel is from the twentieth chapter of St. John's Gospel when St. Mary Magdalene arrives and finds the empty tomb and runs to Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved, taken to be John, to tell them He is missing. While the disciple whom Jesus loved arrived at the tomb before Peter, it was Peter who went in first and discovered "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 evangelist writes, "the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed."

St. John, apostle and evangelist, pray for us.

Veni adoramus

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