December 27 is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, frequently referred to as “the Beloved Disciple” in the Gospels. He was one of the first disciples called by Christ and is considered the author of the Gospel of John, at least the first of the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. He was also the only apostle not to die a martyr’s death even though the emperor Dometian tried very hard to make it twelve for twelve.
John was the son of Zebedee and Salome and made his living fishing in the Lake of Genesareth with his brother James “the greater”. He and other disciples, including Peter and Andrew, had originally been followers of John the Baptist but immediately followed Christ when called (John 1:35-42). In between his travels throughout Jordan and Galilee with Jesus, John and some of the other apostles maintained their fishing business as can be seen from the accounts of Jesus calming the storm while on a fishing trip with the apostles.
St. John receives prominent placement throughout the Gospels as one of the three apostles at the transfiguration, one of the apostles sent to prepare a place for the Last Supper, one of the three apostles present in the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ was arrested, the first to arrive at Christ’s tomb following the Resurrection and the apostle to whom Jesus entrusted His mother from the Cross. He was also the apostle who first recognized Christ standing on the lake shore following the Resurrection.
God our Father,
You have revealed the mysteries of your Word through John the apostle.
By prayer and reflection may we come to understand the wisdom he taught.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
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