ST JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST, THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED, FRIDAY DECEMBER 27, 2019
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 20:1a, 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 do not 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.
REFLECTION: "he saw and believed".
St John was not yet twenty when John the Baptist called out, "Behold, the Lamb of God". Jesus called him specifically to be one of the twelve apostles. And St John followed Jesus with undivided love. His whole life found meaning that day. He was the apostle who laid his head on His bosom at the Last Supper and he was the only one who was at Calvary when all disappeared and denied Jesus.
He gave to Jesus his whole life. Our Lord gave him a special friendship and confidence. John refers to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved". St John was given the highest honor of taking care of the Mother of God. He was the only disciple not to have been martyred, though he miraculously survived an attempt from being boiled in hot oil. In his old age he was able to relate to many his one on one relationship with Jesus.
He out ran Peter to the tomb but waited for Peter, the head of the Church, to enter first. St John knew who was in charge and reinforces that in the gospel. It was John who surveyed the burial wrappings and understood --"he saw and believed". He came to believe in the Resurrection, the cornerstone of our faith.
God gave St John an immense gift. He took Mary into his home and cared for her til the end of her days on earth. Let us invite Mary into our hearts and like St John bring Mary into our homes, our lives, and our confidence.
Our Mother Mary is the mother of all, including the priests. She holds them close to her heart and as we pray for their safe keeping, may we also ask St John to remind our priests of the importance of loving one another, being faithful to God, ready to follow Him when and wherever He calls. May the priests experience God's love as St John did.