Saint of the Day Quote: Saint John the Apostle

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[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1: 1-5

Saint John, the Apostle whom Christ loved, was the youngest of the Apostles.  Born perhaps around 6-15 AD he and his brother James, sons of Zebedee and Salome, were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.  Called by Christ to follow Him, they were nicknamed by Him Boanerges, sons of thunder, perhaps because of their asking Christ to call down lightning on those who did not follow Him, or perhaps a playful jab at the disposition of old Zebedee.

The two brothers were ambitious, asking Christ to allow them to sit by His side.  He promised them only that they would drink from the cup He drank and be baptized in His Baptism.  John’s brother James became the first of the Apostles to die a martyr’s death.

John far outlived all the other apostles, dying in exile on Patmos circa 100 AD.  He witnessed the small defeated movement of the followers of Jesus after the Crucifixion swell into a mighty Church sweeping into every corner of the Roman Empire and beyond.  He was the last living link to Christ and he set down what he remembered in that theological masterpiece, the Gospel of John.  The other three Gospels give us Christ in unforgettable prose, the Gospel of John gives us Christ in lambent almost poetry, that has illuminated the humanity and the divinity of Christ  for countless Christians down through the long ages.  Through disciples like Saint Ignatius and Saint Polycarp he passed on to Christians who had never heard Christ the pure teaching of Christ that he had heard, and the love of Christ that burned within him.

In John 21: 22 Peter receives a very mild rebuke from Christ when Peter wonders if John is to tarry until Christ comes again:  “What is that to thee, follow thou me!”  There is an old legend that Saint John went into his tomb still living, perhaps to remain there miraculously alive until the Second Coming.  In this legend there is a boulder of truth.  The Gospel of John, more than any other single document, has helped keep alive in Christians something of the passion and the love of Christ that amazed the Apostles.  In that Gospel, John does remain alive here on the Earth, as he prepares each Christian who reads it to follow the same Christ that he followed down the dusty trails of Galilee, Samaria and Judea so long ago.

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  1. Words that are especially true in our time and especially in the Church: “And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Let us pray that we see the light. It is a rare gift.

  2. I strongly recommend the book by Dr. Brant Pitre, “The Case for Jesus”. Brant takes on the widespread claim that the Gospels are just man-made myths. He demolishes that claim and shows that the Gospels are reliable testimony especially when taken in their Jewish context. Marvelous book! I’ve read a lot of books in my life – this is in my personal top five purely from its astonishing insights from the Jewish culture. Amazing read – and John’s testimony is expertly woven into it wonderful explanation that Jesus is indeed the Son of Mary and the Son of God, Someone we can trust and hold on to…May God bless Dr. Pitre and the readers of TAC. Happy New Year!

  3. I’ve seen several of Dr. Pitre’s videos that are for sale and they are all excellent. One good thing is that he usually has outlines of the presentations in PDF format available for free download that give a summary of the presentations. He also has free presentations available on YouTube.
    One thing that I noticed is that St. John the Evangelist is the only Apostle who followed Jesus all the way to the Cross at Calvary. One thing I learned in Bible study is that being a Passover Seder, that the Last Supper was left incomplete by Christ. A Passover Seder has four cups of wine. The Institution of the Eucharist was done using the third cup, the Cup of Blessing. That is when Christ announced that He would no longer drink of the fruit of the vine. The fourth cup is the Cup of Consummation. Christ drank of this cup when He took the bitter wine vinegar from the sponge on the hyssop branch shortly before He said “It is finished.” The Last Supper, Passion and Death of Christ was all of one piece. St. John was the only Apostle to see through to the end the Passover Seder of the Last Supper with Christ. I can’t help but think that that is one reason why St. John was the only Apostle who lived to see old age.

  4. GregB.

    Thank you. The four cups at Seder and Jesus’ timing. Great.

    The Saint, John, also was privileged to have heard Jesus telling him that His Mother is now your Mother. Now John is her son. And now we ponder those words and take Mary into our home as John did. Into our hearts.

    Your explanation was appreciated this morning. St. John lived a long life. Giving himself to the service of the Lord…to the last drop in the final cup. As Mr. McClarey said “John does remain alive here on Earth..” Amen.
    May he help us set the world on fire for Christ in 2019.

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