Gospel Reflection Tuesday (27 December) – Octave of the Nativity of the Lord St John, The Apostle
In the weekdays of the Christmas season, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (20: 2-8) in which Mary of Magdala, distressed after realising Jesus is no longer in the tomb, runs to the Simon-Peter and the disciple Jesus loved, saying ‘they have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have put him’.
Fr Paul says it seems a little strange to be reading a Gospel that talks about Jesus in the tomb and his Resurrection when only a few days ago we celebrated his birth but we do so today because we celebrate the life of St John.
Fr Paul notes that James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were nicknamed by Jesus ‘the sons of thunder’. John is involved in many of the central events of Jesus’ life, including the Transfiguration, the Crucifixion, and the discovery of the Resurrection (as we hear in today’s Gospel). He is ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’ and is the one to whom he entrusted the care of his mother, Mary.
John is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles; later, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. He is said to have died at Ephesus.
John wrote a Gospel, three Epistles, and the Apocalypse.
Today, in the tradition of our Church, as we celebrate the life of St John, Fr Paul invites us to pray, ‘St John pray for us!’