December 27, 2019 – Friday – Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
Click here for the readings http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/122719.cfm
It is just fitting for us to celebrate the feast of St. John the Evangelist soon after Christmas Day. The opening lines of his gospel sum up in a few words what we are celebrating at Christmas, he wrote and ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’
This, the last of the four gospels to be written, is based on the eyewitness testimony of the favoured one described as the Beloved Disciple of Jesus. This could give us the impression that Jesus loved this disciple more than all the other disciples. But other texts in the gospels suggest that Jesus loved and loves all his disciples equally. He said to them all as a group, and indeed says to us also, ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.’ Yes, we are all Jesus’ beloved disciples.
What distinguishes John from the other disciple is that he received and responded to the love of Jesus more fully than all the others did. As we have heard in the gospels, John, the youngest of them all was the only male disciple who was present at the foot of the cross; he remained faithful when others had shown themselves to be unfaithful; he remained fearless when others ran away and hid because of fear.
John’s faithful love brought him to the empty tomb faster than Peter; and because of this, it made John to understand the empty tomb and recognize God’s power because, ‘he saw and believed.’
Yes, John saw the empty tomb and believed that Jesus was raised from the dead even in the midst of fear, doubts and confusion. He is the disciple who encourages all of us to give ourselves wholeheartedly in love to Jesus as he has given himself fully to us.
Each of us has seen and experienced God’s love and generosity in our own lives. I would like to invite you to be more aware of those moments, of those experiences so that they may lead us to Jesus. Let us truly believe, then, in Him who has come to us to live with us. Let us also come to him, to come closer to God in this season of Christmas. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR