According to the Gospels, John enjoyed a special friendship with Jesus; tradition holds that he is the “beloved disciple” mentioned frequently in the Gospel of John. While scholars dispute whether the Apostle John did himself write the Gospel and the three epistles that bear his name, along with the Book of Revelation, or if these works were in fact written by a disciple of his, it’s clear that John’s example of divine love made an impact on the Church. John was the youngest apostle, and he survived long after the others had all been martyred, dying of natural causes in old age. He, along with his brother James and Peter, were with Jesus at the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, and the agony in the garden of Gethsemane. At the Last Supper, John was beside Jesus, and he was the only apostle to remain with Jesus through his crucifixion. From the Cross, Jesus entrusted the care of his mother Mary to John. His attribute is the eagle, a symbol of the divine spiritual heights to which his Gospel soars. John’s feast day is December 27.
“I give you a new commandment; love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
Questions for Reflection:
- Do you see yourself as a disciple whom Jesus loves?
- How might you more deeply foster a special, intimate friendship with Jesus?
- Would people looking at your life know that you are a disciple of Jesus because of how well you love?