Dec 27 – Feast of St. John, apostle, evangelist
St. John, also known as the ‘beloved disciple’ of Jesus, was the son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of St. James the Great, and was called one of the Sons of Thunder. Before becoming Jesus’ disciple, he was already a disciple of St. John the Baptist, and a friend of St. Peter the Apostle. He was called by Jesus during the first year of Christ’s ministry, and travelled everywhere with him. He took part in the Last Supper, and was the only one of the Twelve not to forsake the Saviour in the hour of his Passion, standing at the foot of the cross.
He was made guardian of Our Lady by Jesus, and he took her into his home. Upon hearing of the Resurrection, he was the first to reach the tomb; when he met the risen Lord at the Lake of Tiberius, he was the first to recognise him.
During the era of the new Church, he worked in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. During Jesus’ ministry, he tried to block a Samaritan from their group, but Jesus explained the open nature of the new Way, and he worked on that principle to found churches in Asia Minor and baptising converts in Samaria. He was imprisoned with Peter for preaching after Pentecost. He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and possibly the Book of Revelation.
- Patron Saint Index
1 Jn 1:1-4
…the Word, who is life – this is our subject. That life was made visible…
Yesterday we celebrated the feast of St Stephen, today it’s the feast of one of the greatest saints and apostles, as well as Jesus’ beloved disciple — St John. What this saint can teach us is to learn how to stay close to Jesus, to be entrusted with a lot, to live and love without questioning.
In today’s first reading, St John tells us about what life is when our eyes and ears are opened to see and hear all that “has existed since the beginning that we have heard, and we have seen with our own eyes” (1 John 1:1). The Word IS life, if we live out our Christian life faithfully, if we truly believe that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) Before my Conversion Experience Retreat, I’ll admit that I had never touched nor read the Bible. Since my baptism, it sat on the altar shelf collecting dust. At the retreat, I had to turn and flip through so many chapters and verses, I could barely keep up. When I received scripture verses at the retreat, I realised that they were God’s precious messages to me! To many, reading the Bible may be boring. What happened in the Old Testament seems remote and unconnected to our current lives. In the New Testament, we hear everything about Jesus. But to many, he’s just history.
To me, he’s a part of history that still lives today. Over the last few years, I’m thankful to have finally learnt to appreciate reading scripture much more. It’s since been my daily morning ritual to begin the day by reading the Word of God and reflecting on the bible verses. It’s my spiritual sustenance. For days, when I have to rush to work early in the morning, I’ll use my Amen app and listen to the podcast instead. Listen and let words, phrases or sentences speak to us. I know that God speaks to us through many different ways, but it’s much more direct with scripture. It is where I learn the ways of Jesus. It is not easy to read the Bible and be instantly enlightened. I’d suggest praying and asking The Lord to open the ears of our heart. “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9). Sometimes, nothing comes to mind so I’ll just sit quietly with Jesus. Eventually when I am still for long, God will speak.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Cynthia Chew)
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, you are ever trying to reach out to us. Yet we are often deaf, blind or hard-hearted so we are not able to hear or see you. During this season of Advent, may the birth of Jesus remind us of you trying to come into our hearts. O come, O come, Emmanuel.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for loving us – even when we’re not worthy, when we’re so sinful, when we have forgotten about you. Thank you for your everlasting love. Help us to love you more!