HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST.
THEME: JOHN THE BELOVED DISCIPLE.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
HOMILY FOR DECEMBER 27TH.
“Mary Magdalene ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved..”
Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Apostle and Evangelist John. In the Gospel of today (John 20:2-8), his name is not mentioned. But the New Testament writings connected with John the Beloved present him as both a teacher and a model for our discipleship. Perhaps the first thing to observe is that whomever this disciple is, namely, the one who is identified five times in this Gospel as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” we know he was the one who wrote the Gospel.
In those five scenes, the beloved disciple stands in contrast to Simon Peter. In each instance, the beloved disciple responds to Jesus so that the narrator considers his words praiseworthy. At the same time, Peter expresses confusion, doubt, and misunderstanding before denying that he knows Jesus. In a sense, the beloved disciple gets everything right: twice he is found in a location that indicates his loyalty to Jesus (John 18:15-18, John 19:26-27); in the Gospel of today, he responds appropriately by believing at the empty tomb, even when he does not understand (John 20:3-8); he also recognizes the risen Jesus from afar while the other disciples do not (John 21:7). In what is probably the most critical comment about the beloved disciple, the narrator depicts him as “reclining back on the breast of Jesus” (John 13:25), an English rendering of the exact Greek phrase used to describe the relationship between Jesus and God the Father (“close to the Father’s heart,” John 1:18). Each of these depictions reinforces the idea that the beloved disciple should be seen as an ideal follower of Jesus; one with whom any faithful Christian can and should identify.
John’s Gospel makes any Christian who wishes to follow Jesus, a beloved disciple by following his lead. The beloved disciple is anonymous in the text and must remain so to fulfill his role in the story. From the pages of the story, the beloved disciple beckons us: “Follow Jesus as I have followed him, and you too can become a disciple whom Jesus loves.” We can also follow Jesus. We are all the Beloved of God. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God bless you and your household always through Christ, our Lord Amen. Good morning
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