HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE
HOMILY THEME: One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus.
St. John the Apostle, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus was the son of Zebedee and Salome .
John was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His public ministry. He is also known as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos and the Beloved Disciple.
John’s older brother was St. James the Great, another one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles. Jesus referred to the brothers as “Boanerges,” meaning “sons of thunder.” John is believed to be the longest living apostle and the only not to die a martyr’s death.
John was the only one of the Twelve Apostles who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion. He stood faithfully at the cross when the Savior made him the guardian of His Mother.
John is known as the author of the Gospel of John and four other books in the New Testament – the three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. The authorship of the Gospel is credited to the “disciple whom Jesus loved” and John 21:24 claims the Gospel of John is based on the “Beloved Disciple’s” testimony. However, the true authorship has been debated on since 200.
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St. John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he had learned from his Divine Master, and which he constantly inculcated by word and example. The “beloved disciple” died in Ephesus after AD 98, where a stately church was erected over his tomb.
It was afterwards converted into a Mohammedan mosque. St. John is the patron saint of love, loyalty, friendships, and authors. He is often depicted in art as the author of the Gospel with an eagle, symbolizing “the height he rose to in his gospel.” In other icons, he is shown looking up into heaven and dictating his Gospel to his disciple.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that St. John was given the promise of immortality from Jesus. It also teaches that in 1829, John was also resurrected, along with Peter and James, and “restored the priesthood authority with Apolistic succession to earth,” according to the Doctrine and Covenants 27:12.
St. John, Apostle and Evangelist’s feast day is celebrated on December 27.
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