December 27, 2017


December 27, 2017:  St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

See 13 connections with today?
Legend below

For 1st reading
For Psalm 97
For Creighton reflection
Pope Francis General Audience
The celebration of Jesus' birth is a sign of our gratitude for the Father’s gift of Jesus and our desire to ‎share him with others.  Today Christmas is distorted:  out of false respect, faith is sidelined and references to Jesus eliminated. But without Jesus there is no Christmas and local traditions are empty.  Like the shepherds, we're led to discover the light of Jesus, born of an unknown poor girl in a stable, unknown to the world but over whom the angels rejoiced.  Today the Son of God is still God’s gift to a humanity that prefers darkness, fearing God’s light will unveil our actions and thoughts, embarrass us, and prick our conscience.
We can welcome Jesus by giving ourselves to those we encounter; this is why we exchange gifts.  God has opened the way to new life, based on love.  Those on society's margins are the first beneficiaries of God’s gift of salvation.  Jesus establishes a friendship with the small and despised that nourishes hope. ‎ With them God wants to build a world where no one is rejected, maltreated, or destitute.  Open your heart and be God’s gift to others, especially the small and excluded who have never experienced a caress, loving attention, or tenderness.
Wordle: Readings 12-27-14
  • 1 Jn 1:1-4  We proclaim the Word of life—what was from the beginning, that we've heard, seen, and touched—so you may have fellowship with the Father, Jesus Christ, and us.

  • Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12  "Rejoice in the Lord, you just!"  The Lord is king; the heavens proclaim his justice, and all see his glory.

  • Jn 20:1a, 2-8  Mary Magdalene ran to Simon Peter and [John]:  “They've taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put him.”  Both ran to the tomb; John arrived first and saw the burial cloths, then Peter arrived and saw them too.  John went in and believed.
  • Creighton:  Today's gospel is about Easter.  Christmas needs Easter.  Christmas is special because the baby is the son of God who grows up to save the world by his death and resurrection; his resurrection makes his birth special. Without Easter there's no Christmas, and vice versa.  “What Child Is this?” has a [Passion/] Easter verse, “Nails, spears shall pierce him through; the cross he bore for me, for you.”  “Mary did you know?” references what Jesus grows up to do.  We need to acknowledge where the story goes, so it’s good to think about Easter at Christmas.  The birth we celebrate now leads to the end of death; Jesus had to be born to die, rise, and save us.  In today's gospel Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved went to the empty tomb, and the disciple Jesus loved saw the empty tomb and believed.  Now we see the baby; in spring we'll see the empty tomb and believe.
    St. John the Evangelist/ Domenichino
    (More St. John art)
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Shocked by infinite love":  St. John has been customarily identified as the "beloved disciple."  The beloved disciple is nameless in John, possibly to indicate that all Jesus' disciples are beloved.  When we realize the Lord loves us perfectly, we're rooted and grounded, affirmed and fulfilled, freed from fear, able to give the love we've received and to live in love and in God, and willing to live and die for the Lord and others.  Let us better receive and experience the "breadth, length, height, and depth" of Christ's love.  May we be rendered speechless by realizing Love loves us.
  • Passionist:  This time between Christmas and Epiphany is like a retreat, perfect to remember and experience my relationship with God, others, and creation, to be at peace in God’s presence and silence, open to God's movement in and around me.  These moments fuel my acts of kindness, efforts for justice, and striving to be better to others....
  •  "John saw the Word made flesh and believed":   John was the first apostle to reach Jesus' empty tomb.  What did he see that led him to believe?  He must have recalled Jesus prophesying that he'd rise after three days.  John bears witness to the "Word of Life," Jesus the Word Incarnate, the word the prophets announced, the word now preached....
  • Universalis:  John the Evangelist, Zebedee's son, nicknamed by Jesus “son of thunder” (as brother James).  At Jesus' Transfiguration and empty tomb, Jesus put his mother in his care.  Exiled to island of Patmos; died at Ephesus.
Dress legend
  • 'Eyeball' and 'hands' pins:  We've seen the Word of Life with our eyes and touched him with our hands (1st reading); John saw and believed (gospel)
  • 'Love' suspenders sticker:  "Beloved" (1st reading); [John,] the "disciple Jesus loved" (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is king (psalm)
  • 'Alps' tie pin:  The mountains melt like wax before the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Christmas lights' tie:  Light dawns for the just (psalm); Christmas season
  • 'Heart' pin:  Gladness for the upright of heart (psalm)
  • '?' tie pin:  "We don't know where they put the Lord" (gospel)
  • 'Runner' tie pin:  Peter and the "beloved disciple" ran to the tomb (gospel)
  • Button:  Joyeux Noël!
  • White shirt:  Color of St. John's feast

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