Third Day in the Octave of the Nativity
Feast of St John the Evangelist
Reading: 1 John 1:1-4
Responsorial Psalm: PS 97:1-2-5-6;11-12
“Rejoice in the Lord, you just!”
Gospel: John 20:1-8
John 20:8 – “Then the other disciple also went in, and he saw and believed”
Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint John, Apostle and evangelist, one of the first witnesses of Christ’s rising from the dead.
The Easter declaration, properly understood, has always been and still is an explosion, an earthquake, a revolution. For the Easter faith is that Jesus of Nazareth, who had been brutally put to death by the Roman authorities, is alive again through the power of the Holy Spirit—and not in some metaphorical sense.
That the Resurrection is a literary device or a symbol that Jesus’ cause goes on is a fantasy born in the faculty lounges of Western universities over the past couple of centuries. The still startling claim of the first witnesses is that Jesus rose bodily from death, presenting himself to his disciples to be seen, even handled.
The hope of ancient Israel was the unification of heaven and earth in a great marriage. Recall a central line from the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The bodily Resurrection of Jesus is the powerful sign that the two orders are in fact coming together.
Pray for those blinded by earthly riches today.
With thanks to Holy Name of Mary Parish, Hunters Hill, who have supplied these daily Advent and Christmas 2021 reflections from their publication Daily Inspirations of Faith: A Season of Prayer – Advent to Epiphany 2021-22.