Saturday, December 27, 2014SAINT JOHN
Apostle and Evangelist
Saint John the Evangelist was the only one of the apostles who did not suffer martyrdom. The young Beloved Disciple lived, says the tradition, to quite an old age. Although Jesus called him and his brother James “sons of thunder,” and although John could be fierce against heresy and false teaching (especially those who denied God’s Incarnation in Christ); yet this last story about John throws soft warm light back upon his whole career as a disciple, indeed Christ’s beloved disciple:
As he grew old and infirm, John’s followers in the Church would bring him in on his bed into the assembly at the Eucharist, where the old man would simply repeat, over and over, “My little children, love one another; love one another; love one another.” Sometimes the flock found the repetition a little tedious. Perhaps we would too. But it is a sentiment, a commandment, which bears much repeating. “This I command you,” said Jesus, “that you love one another, even as I have loved you.” No wonder Saint John kept on saying and writing it.And so let us love one another. When we love, as the old apostle says, we abide in life; when we do not love, we abide in death. So by all means let us love in deed and in truth.
Shed upon thy Church, we beseech thee, O Lord, the brightness of thy light; that we, being illumined by the teaching of thine apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of thy truth, that we may at length attain to the fullness of life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.