Today we celebrate the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. St. John was the beloved disciple, the author of the fourth Gospel, three letters in the New Testament and the Book of Revelation. Our first reading today is from the beginning of St. John’s first letter. “We proclaim now…our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” That’s some fine fellowship, there, my friend!
Today’s Gospel reading is from John 20, the story of Peter and John being told by Mary Magdalene that Jesus’ tomb was empty. Peter and John take off running, and John wins the race to the tomb. I wonder if St. John is the patron of track athletes. It would seem right, wouldn’t it? It is thought that perhaps John was just a teenager or in his early twenties during Jesus’ earthly ministry. He is thought to have died shortly after the beginning of the second century. Small wonder that he beat St. Peter to the tomb, given that he was probably a much younger man.
John is certainly the disciple of love. Just read his writings. “Beloved, let us love one another.” “God is love.” I can just envision him sprinting to the tomb to see what had happened to the Lord. Sprinting to the Lord. It is nice imagery. Something that we would do well to imitate. (I must admit, at my age sprinting will look much different than it did not so long ago!) At every moment of our lives, good, bad or indifferent, we should be sprinting to Jesus. What a great way to get in shape! In more ways than one.
Father, at all times in our lives, give us the grace and strength to sprint to Jesus. May we imitate St. John and live out his message of love. Amen.