St. John the Evangelist, Apostle (Feast, 27th Dec.)

1 John 1:1-4       John 20: 2-8

Theme: Loyalty in discipleship

Today the church celebrates the feast of St. John the Evangelist, an Apostle of Jesus. He is referred to as the beloved disciple, whom Jesus loved so much. His loyalty to the mission of Christ was never in doubt, from the beginning to the end of his life. He followed Jesus to calvary, while the other Apostles stayed away for the fear of the Jews. He was at the foot of the cross with Mary. In his writings and daily life, he bared witness to the love of Christ until the end. Today we celebrate him with the white-coloured vestment, because he was the only Apostle who died a natural death, all other Apostles were martyred at different times in their lives, and we celebrate them with the red vestment for Martyrs.

The loyalty of the Apostle John is worthy of emulation, as a disciple of Christ. This brings me to a very important question that we need to answer and reflect on as individuals as followers of Christ, are you a loyal disciple, or you are a disciple of Christ when it is convenient to you? This is a question that we need to reflect on and make amends if necessary. Humanly speaking, we all desire to have friends that are loyal to us. However, take time to reflect on whether you are a loyal friend yourself.

Our personal commitment as we opt for Christ, makes a lot of difference on our human relationship and on how we also serve God. St. John gave us a guide that will help us to be a worthy ambassador in the propagation of God’s mission here on earth. However, we must be ready to embrace the joys and sorrows that go with discipleship. One of such challenging moments for St. John was journeying to calvary with Jesus, amidst all the threat and agitations from the people, who were determined to kill Jesus. John did not run away, like many of us would have done, just like the other Apostles did, he stood with his master until the end. Like somebody once said, “Do you still wonder why he was the beloved Apostle?” Jesus saw something special in him.

We are all encouraged today to emulate the style of discipleship of St. John the Evangelist, as disciples of Christ. As you do this may almighty God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Feast, 27th Dec.), by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp