St. John, the Apostle who was the closest to our Lord, dedicated himself to His service from the first time they met until his death many years later. He is known at the Beloved Disciple.
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of St. John (December 27, 2022): 1 JN 1:1-4; PS 97:1-2,5-6,11-12; JN 20:1,2-8
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
At the Last Supper it was John who lay his head on Jesus’ breast. The next day he would stand at the cross with our Blessed Mother and hear our Redeemer place her into his care and protection...
St. John was the brother of St. James the Greater; and both were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. It was on that shore where the brothers encountered Jesus and immediately accepted His invitation to follow Him. While Ss. Peter and James were part of an inner circle among the Apostles, it was St. John who was nearest to Christ. At the Last Supper it was John who lay his head on Jesus’ breast. The next day he would stand at the cross with our Blessed Mother and hear our Redeemer place her into his care and protection while He entrusted John to her as well. He ran to the empty tomb on Easter morning and believed that He had indeed Risen from the dead. Yet it was this same disciple so capable of love and devotion to Christ who, along with James, was called by Him a Son of Thunder. There was certainly some element of pride in wanting a special place at the side of Christ in His Kingdom and, possibly vengefulness in seeking retribution against a town that did not welcome them. But ultimately, it was love that mattered. Christ loved John and he loved Christ. Pope Benedict XVI has written: “According to tradition, John is the disciple whom Jesus loved. … Let us be content here with learning an important lesson for our lives: the Lord wishes to make each one of us a disciple who lives in personal friendship with Him. …May the Lord help us to study at John’s school and learn the great lesson of love, so as to feel that we are loved by Christ to the end, and spend our lives for Him.”
By tradition, St. John wrote not only the fourth Gospel, but also three Letters, and the Book of Revelation. While there is some question about the authorship of the latter, he certainly is known for proclaiming both the love and the glory of Christ, and His desire to save each person for Himself in time and eternity. In today’s First Reading, we hear: “The life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us -- 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” (1 John 1:2-4). St. John is thought to have had long life and, alone among the Apostles, died a natural death, probably at Ephesus around 100AD.