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.
The beloved disciple. St. John obviously had a very special relationship with Jesus. I believe that we, too, are called to that same kind of relationship. In fact, if you personally asked Jesus, “Who is the beloved disciple?” He would look you in the eyes and reply, “Why, you are!” Let’s pray that we can foster the same kind of relationship with Jesus that St. John shared.
Father, help us to grow ever closer to Jesus. Help us to follow the example of St. John the Evangelist and share the message of Christ’s love to all. Amen.