Mass Reading & Meditation for December 27, 2012
Meditation: John 20:1-8
Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist
“He saw and believed.” (John 20:8)
Mary Magdalene’s report of an empty tomb was so troubling that Peter and John left the safety of the upper room to investigate. John got there first, and waited for Peter before going into the tomb. Once he saw the carefully rolled up burial cloth, he believed. Jesus had risen from the dead! All the words Jesus had spoken about this while he was still alive blossomed in John’s heart that moment, and a new faith was born.
Don’t you find this amazing? Even Peter, the leader of the apostles, the one who walked on water and confessed Jesus as the Holy One of God, didn’t believe—at least not yet. What was so different about John?
If we backtrack to Good Friday, we see that John, also known as the beloved disciple, was the only one of the Twelve to stay by the cross throughout Jesus’ passion. He was there, comforting Mary as they watched the Son of God give up his life. John saw Jesus’ faithfulness, his absolute trust in his Father, and his self-sacrificing love in a way that the others didn’t. Witnessing such a dramatic scene must have made a deep impression on his heart.
Remember, too, that on the cross Jesus entrusted Mary into John’s care (John 19:25-27). Jesus knew that John had the same attitude of prayerful pondering that his mother had—the attitude that John showed as he laid his head next to Jesus’ heart at the Last Supper. While Peter was the active doer, John was more thoughtful and prayerful. So just the right bit of evidence—an empty tomb—could act as a kind of spark, igniting everything John had pondered during those three days of waiting.
Take St. John as your model as you pray today. Fix your eyes on Christ crucified, and ponder his word. Let all the truths of this blessed Christmas season take deeper root in your heart. Just believe in Jesus. Draw close to his heart, and let his love wash over you.
“Lord, I don’t want to keep searching frantically for you. I believe that you are right here with me. Help me rest in your presence, so that my faith can deepen.”
1 John 1:1-4; Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12