Nativity of the Lord
Merry Christmas! My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory
Memorial or Feast
and full set of orations is on Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist.
He is believed to have been the youngest Apostle, who lived to be the oldest, dying in AD 100 at 94, and the only Apostle to die of natural
causes. [Ten were martyred and Judas committed suicide.] He, along with Peter and James, were the only ones to witness: the raising of Jarius’ daughter, the Transfiguration, and the Agony in the Garden; only he and Peter were sent to prepare the Last Supper’s site, and to enter the empty tomb on Easter morning. Only Saint John
rested his head on Jesus’ chest at the Last Supper, a sign of special affection [thus he is called the Beloved Disciple] which enabled him to literally hear and feel Christ’s Sacred Heart beat! The Church gives him the second closest Feast Day to Christmas, December 27,
and here are his orations.
Collect – Saint John, Apostle & Evangelist
O God, who through the blessed Apostle John
have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word,
grant, we pray, that we may grasp
with proper understanding what he has
so marvelously brought to our ears.
Through our Lord … for ever and ever. Amen.
“AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH.”
It is so appropriate we reflect on this evangelist’s Gospel today for these words, taken from the Prologue or Intro of Saint John’s Gospel
are one option for the Christmas Gospel. It is a literary masterpiece all should read at Christmas: “In the beginning was the Word … and the Word was God … and the Word became flesh … and dwelt among us … and we have seen his glory!”
John 1:1-18] He also wrote 3 New Testament Letters or Epistles and the Book of Revelation. His unique, in-depth insights teach us more about Jesus, who He is, and what He came to do, than perhaps the other 3 Gospels combined! That’s why his symbol is an eagle, for an eagle
can look directly into the brilliant light of the sun without going blind – and can soar to amazing heights – as does Saint John’s Gospel!
Prayer over the Offerings – Saint John
Sanctify the offerings we have made, O Lord,
we pray, and grant that from the
banquet of this supper we may draw
the hidden wisdom of the eternal Word,
just as, from this same source,
you revealed it to your Apostle John.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE EUCHARIST’S FULL MEANING.
Unlike the other three evangelists, Saint John
makes no mention of the bread and wine at the Last Supper; nor does he record our Lord’s words, “This is my Body; this is my Blood…” repeated at every Mass during the Consecration. Instead, he gives us the full meaning of the Eucharist; he alone records Jesus’ emotional and moving Farewell Address
during that First Mass; He alone tells how Jesus humbly washed His Apostles’ feet during that sacred meal as a sign of loving service. He alone devotes one whole chapter – Chapter 6,
known as the Bread of Life Discourse, [another ‘must read’] – to explain that Jesus is the True Bread from Heaven, and that we must eat His Flesh and drink His Blood to have eternal life. Only Saint John’s
teachings – which many non-Catholic Christians dismiss – gives us the full meaning of Christ’s Most Holy Body and Precious Blood – who lived in our Blessed Mother’s womb for 9 months – and lives in us each time we receive Holy Communion.
Prayer after Communion – Saint John
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that the Word made flesh, proclaimed by
the blessed Apostle John, may, through
this mystery which we have celebrated,
ever dwell among us.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
EVERY MASS IS ANOTHER CHRISTMAS & EASTER.
We often forget the main reason for the seasons: at Christmas, God became man in Jesus so that – at Easter, He could suffer and die to redeem us and rise again to reveal the Resurrection. Do you need to return more regularly to the Sacraments which enable every day to be another Christmas and Easter?
Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist, pray for us!
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS