Homily On Saint John
Thank you Saint John for writing in your epistle that we heard just before the Gospel reading that you desire for our joy to be complete. In fact…you know very well that joy is both the fruit of a journey…it’s like a path and it is also the fruit of our choice to live in God’s presence.So please tell us…Saint John…your path to joy was very
So please tell us…Saint John…your path to joy was very eventful. It seems that you were not always such a happy man…as some of your interventions during Jesus’ time can attest. Wasn’t it you who asked if lightning shouldn’t be called upon the Samaritan village that didn’t want to receive your master Jesus and perhaps it was these words earned you the nickname of Boanergès…son of thunder. Once again wasn’t it you who with your older brother James tried to get the best place next to Jesus in his kingdom (question mark)…you even tried to cover your ambition by making your mother ask this of Jesus for you and this triggered a big argument among the disciples. This leads us to believe that at some point in your life you were both ambitious and prone to anger.
So how did this transformation take place? What made you go from being the son of Thunder to the beloved disciple? What could you give us as recommendations so that we could go from our own thunderous ways to those of he who stood at the cross with Mary? Maybe it was the result of being one of the privileged three disciples to see the glory of our Lord in his transfiguration so that you could better remain faithful during his upcoming passion…Maybe it was the pain that you felt as Peter denied three times our Lord and also how painful is must have been in your heart when you couldn’t stay awake in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus needed you the most. Perhaps it was when you had to stand alone with Mary and a few women under the shadow of the cross knowing that the others were too afraid to follow the Master.
Maybe we will never know exactly what made the big difference for you…but we do know that you witnessed to the Lord living in your midst…you write about this throughout your writings. You saw the Lord living among us and you give witness of what you touched heard and looked upon of the word made flesh and we can understand that this alone was like a constant call to holiness.
Help us better to understand the connection between what you heard saw and touched and that ineffable joy that you want to make ours. You looked into the eyes of our Lord as he revealed his future death on the cross. You heard his heart beat as you laid your head upon his chest and asked who would betray him. You watched his give his mother to you as he heaved in agony upon the cross. You saw with great sadness yet wonderment as the roman soldier pierced his heart and out flowed life giving blood and water.How much you must have been shocked at the cruelty of the
How much you must have been shocked at the cruelty of the people and the violence of the soldiers as they crucified your master Lord and friend. Yes perhaps that is what you took the most to heart as a life-changing experience…your friendship with Jesus. You learned from him the joy of giving of oneself without waiting for a return. You learned the truth about who you were…a poor sinner in need of redemption. You came to believe that your friend was truly risen from the grave and victorious over the greatest of all enigmas…death.Your great friendship with Jesus allowed you to fun with more
Your great friendship with Jesus allowed you to fun with more intensity than Peter…your respect for Jesus’ choice of Peter as the Rock upon which the Church was to be built you let him enter before you into the tomb…and the purity of your heart allowed you to believe the unbelievable…that through death Jesus conquered death.May our joy be ever full as we try to follow in your footsteps as
May our joy be ever full as we try to follow in your footsteps as your unworthy sons and daughters: help us to be faithful to our commitments with charity… to carry with hope our crosses and to follow the Lamb as you did on that first day…dwelling with him in faith.
May we follow your example and through prayer rest our heart upon Jesus heart so that we may receive in turn the secrets of the Father’s love for all mankind. We pray through your intercession that we have the zeal to make this love known throughout the world where we live: that our lives may be filled always with the wonder of the saving power of our God…victorious over all evil. May you intercede for us that we may love our almighty and ever-living God as true friends and worthy companions of the Lamb. Yes may your example incite us to follow the Lamb wherever he made lead us in the daily events of our lives so that we may in turn…especially when we least expect it…witness to the joy that was yours…that is ours and that participates in God’s own eternal and everlasting joy.