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The Feast of St. John the Apostle
The Feast of St. John (Year A)
Old Testament: Exodus 33:18-23
Psalter: Psalm 92
Epistle: 1 John 1:1-9
Gospel: John 21:19b-24
Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—what we have seen and heard we also declare to you so that you also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our[a] joy may be complete (1 John 1:1-4).
The feast of St. John the Apostle is a Christian celebration that commemorates the life and teachings of John the Apostle, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Church tradition credits John with the writing of the Fourth Gospel. He is also traditionally associated with the authorship of several other New Testament books, including the letters of 1, 2, and 3 John and the book of Revelation. In his writings the theme of love figures prominently. John also makes it a point to state that he and his contemporaries actually experienced the flesh and blood Jesus. Their testimony was based on direct experience. According to the early church, John is the only Apostle not to have suffered martyrdom, although according to the book of Acts, his brother James was the first Apostle to suffer death by execution (Acts 12:1-3).
The feast of St. John is typically observed on December 27, though some churches may celebrate it on other dates. It is a time for Christians to remember and honor the contributions of John to the early Christian Church, and to reflect on the teachings and message of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John. Some churches may hold special services or events to mark the occasion, such as sermons, hymns, and prayers. Others may simply observe the feast as a time of personal devotion and reflection.
PRAYER: Praise is our cry, O Holy One of Israel, for you have come among us and borne our burdens. Give us open hearts, that we might embrace our suffering sisters and brothers, and welcome Jesus in the hospitality we show to exiles. Amen.
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