Saturday, December 27th, 2008
The Word was made flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory.
Still at the beginning of her Christmas Octave, the Church honors today the apostle whose writings penetrate most deeply the mystery of the Word made flesh—the Beloved Disciple, St. John.
The youngest of the Twelve, John seems to have come closest to sharing in the “fullness of grace” enjoyed by Our Lady. Given filial custody of Mary by Christ himself, John constantly distinguished himself from his fellow apostles by his innocence, trust, and quickness to believe. On the day of the resurrection, for example, John outran Peter both on foot and by faith.
Seemingly taciturn during Christ’s life, the force of John’s later writings reveal an active mind and heart operating at the deepest level of contemplation of the mysteries before him. With Mary at the Cross, with Mary at Pentecost, John eventually joined Peter after the ascension and allowed his piercing gaze to shape his preaching and the Church’s apostolate.
Such was his grace that John was the only apostle to die a natural death. Again, his witness was unique. The world needed not the witness of his blood, but rather that of his contemplation, the fruits of which have been collected in the New Testament.
Today, we ask St. John to accompany us to the crib, hoping for the grace to see too what he saw.
Click here for a short article on the life and thought of St. John.
God our Father,
you have revealed the mysteries of your Word
through John the apostle.
By prayer and reflection
may we come to understand the wisdom he taught.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.