Friday 27 December 2019
St John the Evangelist
John was involved in many of the central events of Jesus’ life, including the Transfiguration, the Crucifixion, and the discovery of the Resurrection. He is “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and the one to whom he confided the care of his mother Mary. He wrote a Gospel, three Epistles, and the Apocalypse.
This is John, who reclined on the Lord’s breast at supper, the blessed Apostle, to whom celestial secrets were revealed and who spread the words of life through all the world.
O God, who through the blessed Apostle John have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word, grant, we pray, that we may grasp with proper understanding what he has so marvellously brought to our ears. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 1 John 1:1-4
Something which has existed since the beginning, that we have heard, and we have seen with our own eyes; that we have watched and touched with our hands: the Word, who is life – his is our subject. That life was made visible: we saw it and we are giving our testimony, telling you of the eternal life which was with the Father and has been made visible to us. What we have seen and heard we are telling you so that you too may be in union with us, as we are in union with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing this to you to make our own joy complete.
Psalm 96 (97): 1-2, 5-6, 11-12
R/ Rejoice, you just, in the Lord.
1) The Lord is king, let earth rejoice, let all the coastlands be glad. Cloud and darkness are his raiment; his throne, justice and right.
2) The mountains melt like wax before the Lord of all the earth. The skies proclaim his justice; all peoples see his glory.
3) Light shines forth for the just and joy for the upright of heart. Rejoice, you just, in the Lord; give glory to his holy name.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Te Deum
Alleluia, alleluia! We praise you, O God, we acknowledge you to be the Lord. The glorious company of the apostles praise you, O Lord. Alleluia!
Gospel: John 20:2-8
On the first day of the week Mary of Magdala came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’ So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed.
Prayer over the Offerings
Sanctify the offerings we have made, O Lord, we pray, and grant that from the banquet of this supper we may draw the hidden wisdom of the eternal Word, just as, from this same source, you revealed it to your Apostle John. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 1: 14, 16
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and from his fullness we have all received.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the Word made flesh, proclaimed by the blessed Apostle John, may, through this mystery which we have celebrated, ever dwell among us. Through Christ our Lord.
Saint John the Apostle was a native of Bethsaida, the same village as Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. He was the brother of Saint James the Greater, the first of Christ’s Apostles to be martyred by Herod. Their parents were Zebedee and Salome. John and his brother James, with Simon Peter, formed the inner core of Christ’s disciples, being present at such momentous events as the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the Agony in the Garden. He was the only disciple at the Crucifixion, and Christ gave him custody of his mother, Mary. He and Peter, as the Gospel reading of this day says, were the first of Christ’s Apostles to discover the empty tomb, which led them to believe that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead. He is the author of the Fourth Gospel and is also credited with writing three Epistles and the Apocalypse. As John welcomed Mary into his house, so we too should welcome Our Lady into our own homes and hearts.