December 27, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

John 20:1A and 2-8

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we do not know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.

Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian Abu):

            Today we celebrate the feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. He is the disciple whom Jesus loved and the only one among the Twelve who did not suffer and die as a martyr. He was present, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, at the foot of the cross of Jesus on Calvary. In today’s Gospel, he is considered as “the other disciple who ran faster than Peter and arrived ahead of him at the tomb” of Jesus after the Resurrection. In this account, upon seeing the empty tomb with the burial cloths and the cloth used in covering the head, he is considered as the first one to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. The faith that St. John lived in his whole life was a clear gift to him from God.

            Like St. John the Apostle, we also received the same faith from God when we were baptized. Like him, we should also nourish this faith by our witnessing to the teachings of Jesus Christ. We should not think that we can only be faithful followers of Christ if we will offer our lives to Him and die as martyrs. The life of St. John the Apostle was nurtured by his steadfast faith in his Master and coupled by his great love for Him. It is in this way that we are being encouraged to live our life. We should not expect for magnificent things to happen to us nor must we wait for the time that we will be tortured and suffered much in order to confess our faith in Jesus. The only thing we need is to have the courage and conviction that we believe in Jesus and we are ready, like St. John the Apostle, to witness to Him in everything that we do.

            Let us ask the intercession of St. John the Apostle that, like him, we may have the strength to profess what we believe and live what we profess. At the end, we may also receive the crown of glory not because we are martyred for Christ’s sake but because we live our life with the eyes of faith and a heart filled with love.

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