Feast of Saint John, apostle and evangelist
(I John 1:1-4; John 20:1a.2-8)
At year’s end people in the United States turn to Time magazine for the unofficial “Person of the Year.” They believe that history is determined more by distinctive human beings than by ideas or by events. Whether a political personality, a religious leader or, as the case this year, a group of individuals, the Person of the Year has contributed significantly to positive human development. Christians have the same intuition as it celebrates Christmas. We recognize that God has saved the world not by a spiritual force but by sending His Son as a human. Today’s readings span the extension of the Savior’s earthly sojourn.
The first reading relates that the Son of God had a human body. People heard his voice, saw his face, and touched his flesh. He was born, like the rest of us, of a human mother and experienced the same kinds of joy and frustration. The gospel assumes that he died and also, as a sign of his successful mission, that he triumphed over death with his resurrection. Now, the readings intimate, we just have to follow in his way to the same resurrected life.
Both readings are said to be written by St. John. Scholars debate who he was and whether he was one individual. The arguments are peripheral. What is essential is his message. Once again, he proclaimed that the Son of God came to earth as a human being. His obedience to his Father’s will was so perfect that the Father grants to those who associate with him a share in his eternal glory.