The Apostle of Love

When we think of St. John, the first thought that comes to mind is that he is the apostle of love. He sensed God’s love for himself through the person of Jesus Christ so intensely that he was consumed with the desire to make others aware of this great love.

From among the passages in the bible, the Church has chosen for his feast that moment when John himself came to faith in the resurrection of Jesus. He went into the empty tomb; he saw and believed.

Today’s Gospel helps us to see that death for Jesus led to the glory of the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is the sign of the Father’s great love not only for his beloved Son, but also for us. Jesus is the plan, the blueprint for our lives. What happened to him will happen to us. We too are vulnerable, subject to death, but death will also lead us to resurrection.

The Christmas season is a time of great joy. St. John, in the first reading, stated that his purpose in writing was that our joy might be complete. Our joy at the birth of Christ is complete when we realize that our fellowship is with the Father and with His son, Jesus Christ. This fellowship, this oneness, will come to full fruit in our own resurrection.

  • Laura

    I respectfully disagree with some aspects of this reflection. Today is the feast of St. John the Apostle, the Evangelist. St. John is not being honored or remembered, as the Apostle of love.

    Yes, St. John did ‘sense God’s love for himself through Jesus’ – sort of. Yes, St. John knew that Jesus loved him but St. John also loved Jesus too. It wasn’t one sided. That’s a bit narcissistic and a narcissistic kind of love is not consumed with the desire to share this love with others.

    Jesus came into the world to save us from our sins, to purchase for us the ability to enter heaven one day and to live there, forever in God’s presence. When Jesus rose from the dead, he proved to us that there really is life everlasting. His word is the truth and we can trust that what he taught us, is the truth. That death does not have the final say. Jesus Christ conquered death and paid the price for our sins, opening the doors of heaven to us for eternal life with the Father. This is the good news.

    St. John became an evangelist because of this good news, which he shared with the entire world. When a couple is married or a baby is born, people do not narcissisticly keep the good news to themselves, they share their joy with everyone else too. St. John also wanted to share this joy, this ‘good news’ of the resurrection, with everyone else too. How could he keep it to himself?