The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. John. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit so he can embrace the reality of Christ’s Kingdom in his daily life and by building the Virtue of Obedience so he can honor and be obedient to the papacy.
The Feast of St. John – December 27 – Jn 20:1-8
Following the somber celebration of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the Church recalls the mysterious discovery of the Resurrection and St. John the Evangelist. John, a fishermen, is drawn by Jesus into His inner circle, along with Peter and John’s brother, James: John witnesses the Transfiguration, helps Peter prepare the Last Supper, witnesses the Agony in the Garden, is the first apostle to the empty Tomb, and is appointed by Jesus from the Cross to be the guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary until her Assumption. John’s long life, he lived to his mid-90’s, gave him 60-70 years to live as a Catholic; John’s Gospel and the Book of Revelation are divinely inspired revelations of the life of Jesus, both during the Incarnation, and in Heaven.
Hearing from Mary Magdalene that Jesus’ body is missing, John arrives at the tomb first but does not enter, in honor of Peter’s authority. Peter, and then John, enter the tomb and discover that Jesus’ body is gone, but the folded napkin (a small cloth placed over the face of the dead), and the linens that wrapped the body, remain. Seeing the linens, the apostles become convinced that Jesus has risen from the dead; some hypothesize Peter and John absolutely believe because the linens carry the Risen Christ’s image, mysteriously preserved in the Sudarium of Oviedo (the burial napkin that covered Jesus’ face) and the Shroud of Turin (the burial linens that wrapped Jesus’ dead body).
After Jesus’ Ascension, St. John cared for the Blessed Virgin Mary until her Assumption into Heaven. Evangelizing in Jerusalem, Judea and Ephesus, John oversaw the early Catholic Churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and was exiled for a time on the Island of Patmos. Tradition holds that St. John is the author of the Gospel of John, three Epistles and Revelation. St. John continues to be venerated at the Basilica of St. John in Selçuk (Ephesus), Turkey.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by the Divine Knowledge of Jesus as He conceives of, creates, selects, and inspires St. John to become one of His greatest witnesses. St John directly receives Divine Knowledge from Jesus during the Incarnation and through the Holy Spirit after the Ascension, allowing him to write the stunning Gospel of St. John and the mysterious Book of Revelation.
Embrace the reality of Christ’s Kingdom
Realize: St. John is associated with an eagle given his lofty vision of Christ’s Kingdom.
Believe: Reflect upon some of John’s insights including God is Love (Jn 3:16, CCC 214, 218-221), Christ is the “Word” (Jn 1:14, CCC 461), Christ’s Great Prayer to the Father (Jn 11:41-42, CCC 2604), Christ’s Bread of Life Sermon (Jn 6, CCC 1338), and Heaven in the Book of Revelation (CCC 1137).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so I can recognize and experience the reality of Your Kingdom which St. John has so beautifully revealed.
Honor and be obedient to the papacy
Realize: Peter denied Christ three times and abandoned Him at the Cross, while John was the only Apostle to courageously accompany the Holy Mother to the Crucifixion. Nevertheless, John, in obedience to Jesus’ designation of Peter as the first pope, steadfastly honored and respected Peter for remainder of Peter’s life and in the respectful references to Peter in the Gospel of John.
Believe: Reflect upon the Papacy (CCC 880-887, 936-937).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Obedience, help me build the Virtue of Obedience (a part of Justice) so I always confidently trust, honor, and remain completely obedient to Your great blessing of the papacy.