Thought for the Day – 26 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist, the Beloved
St John the Apostle and Evangelist
“St John was the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ.
He was allowed, along with St Peter and St James, to enjoy the glory of the Transfiguration and, he was invited with them into the Garden of Gethsemane to witness the agonu ofour divine Redeemer.
In the Cenacle, moreover, after he had received the Blessed Eucharist, he was the only one of the Apostles privileged to rest his head on the breast of Jesus.
He stood at the foot of the Cross on Mount Calvary and heard his Master entrust to him, with His dying breath, the most precious treasure which still remained to Him on earth, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Son, behold thy Mother.”
It is true, that Jesus loved all His Apostles, to all of whom He granted the happiness of enjoying His company, listening to His teaching and witnessing, His miracles.
Even so, He had a special affection for St John.
This was because John was a virgin when Jesus called him and remained so, all his life.
The state of virginity is especially pleasing to God.
It makes us like the Angels and, in a sense, superior to them, since these pure spirits are naturally chaste and, we can only succeed in being so, by means of great self-control.
“Blessed are the pure of heart,” says Jesaus in the Gospel, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).
The privilege of the vision of God is attributed, in a special way, to the pure of heart.
Therefore, St John, the virgin Apostle, begins his Gospel with a descriptio of the intimate life of the eternal God.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word, was God” (Jn 1:1).
He soars above the earth like an eagle, as St Jerome observes and penetrates into the presence of God Himself.
We know that we shall never be called to scale such heights.
We may not even have a vocation to live as virgins.
But, we are all required to be clean of heart.
Purity is a virtue which all Christians should possess in whatever manner is appropriate to their position in life.
Let us examine ourselves strictly on this matter and make suitable resolutions for the future.”