YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE
HOMILY THEME: ‘WOMAN, BEHOLD YOUR SON’ : JESUS’ FINAL COMMENDATION!
BY: Fr. Ben Agbo
1 Jn 1 : 1 – 4, Jn 20 : 2 – 8.
We are celebrating today one of the greatest theological wizards among the apostolic college, one who belonged to the inner caucus of the apostolic cabal and one whom Christ did not mince words in his final commendation to hand over to his beloved mother and vice versa. The scriptures referred to him as ‘the disciple who Jesus loved’, Jn 13 : 23. John had the following 5 special privileges :
1. The privilege of receiving special love from Jesus.
2. The privilege of having deeper understanding of Christ.
3. The privilege of being handed over to Mary.
4. The privilege of being one of the first witnesses of the resurrection.
5. The privilege of longevity.
We are told in today’s gospel that when the news of the resurrection was announced by women, he and Peter ran to the tomb…He finally went in and he saw and believed. In his later writings ( as we find in today’s 1st reading) he could now assertively say about the Word : ‘We have heard…seen…touched with our hands …And we proclaim also to you’. He preached with so much faith and pastored the flock with so much zeal that one of the ancient legends has it that he performed a tremendous miracle of gathering some broken fragments of gold together after praying just to convert and prove to a philosopher and 2 young men that riches are worthless unless they are given away to the poor.
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We are told that at a very old age when he could no longer preach audibly enough, he repeated these same words : ‘My sons, love one another for God is love’, 1 Jn 4 : 16. When they asked him why he kept repeating himself he said that they were the summary of Christ’s teachings : ‘If this alone is obeyed, it is enough’. We, as a matter of urgency should incarnate Christ’s words in our relationships with others especially during this Christmas season and be able to share the joys of time to express a lot of joy, heal a number of wounds and ignite plenty of loving relationships with one another. Jesus made John’s relationship with him and his mother special just to teach us the power of intimate friendship even in spirituality. May God bless you today as you celebrate a happy Christmas!
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