St. John was probably the youngest of the Apostles of Jesus Christ and the one who is referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” He was the only Apostle who was at the foot of the Cross, along with the Blessed Mother, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. The others had abandoned Jesus after His arrest because they were afraid.
While hanging on the Cross, Jesus, seeing His beloved disciple John standing there, said to His mother, “woman, here is your son.” Then to John He said, “Here is your mother.” The Scriptures say from that day forward John took the Blessed Mother into his home (Jn 19:25).
When Mary Magdalene reported to the disciples that she had seen the risen Christ, John and Peter ran to the tomb. Although John outran Peter and arrived there first, he waited for Peter to go in out of respect for Peter’s primacy. After all, the Lord had appointed Peter the head of His Church (Mt 16:18). When John did enter the empty tomb and saw that Jesus was not there, he believed that He had risen from the dead.
Tradition tells us that John outlived all the other Apostles and was the bishop of Ephesus. While we cannot be absolutely certain that he wrote the Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation, this is the tradition that has been handed down to us and most certainly seems likely.
In the Scriptures, Jesus once referred to John and his brother, James, who was also an Apostle, as the Sons of Thunder. Most likely Jesus said this in reference to their rash statements or quick tempers. After spending three years with the Lord, however, John seemed to have lost most of that rashness and pridefulness, and had become quite humble. One example of his humility is when he waited for Peter to enter the tomb before him.
St. John, beloved disciple of Jesus, pray for us to be docile to those whom the Lord has put in authority over us, yet zealous in our love and service to God. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.