Saint Days: St. John
This is a busy week in the Christian Calendar! Yesterday was St. Stephen's day and tomorrow is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. But today we celebrate St. John the Apostle, one of the 12 disciples and the author of the Fourth Gospel.
Out of all the Apostles, he is most likely the only one who was never martyred and was instead exiled to the Greek island of Patmos.
In the Gospel of John, he does not even write his proper name, he refers to himself only as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."
Here is a section from today's reading, John 21:20-25 (NRSV):
"Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, 'Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?' When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, 'Lord what about him?' Jesus said to him, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!' So the rumor spread in the community that the disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?'
This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."
Let us meditate on the life and work of the "disciple whom Jesus loved" as we collect our individual thoughts and prayers into a collective one:
Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.