First and Lasting Faith

Feast of Saint John, Apostle and evangelist
December 27, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/122722.cfm

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Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, and for the next two weeks, our first readings take us into the beautiful mind and heart of John the Apostle, whose feast we celebrate today.

John, as I have met him in his Gospel and Letters, is a lover and a poet. He is, at the same time, a precise and exquisite engineer of thought and insight.

Often, a single word or phrase of John’s writing captures more than our minds can hold. Thus, praying with his writings should be a slow savoring, morsel by morsel, of Eternal Light captured for us in an elegant word.

Let these phrases rest with you in prayer today:
“What was from the beginning
Jesus, Uncreated, pre-existent Word of God

what we have heard, …
Whose voice John heard

what we have seen with our eyes, …
Whose acts of love John witnessed

what we looked upon …
Whose crucified body John held

and touched with our hands …
Whose wounds he wept over

concerns the Word of life
…this Jesus is John’s whole life.

And John proclaims this treasure to us today so that our joy may be complete — so that we, too, might find our whole and eternal life in this Beloved Word of God.


In our Gospel, John remembers the moment when he “saw and believed”. It was at the first Easter morning when he was very young. As he writes today’s epistle, John is very old. Thousands of acts of faith have spread across his long life like so many sunrises. But he still remembers that first amazed belief at an empty tomb.

Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.

John 20:3-8

Do you remember your first faith?
Do you cherish its many dawns over your life?
It might be good to pray with John about these things today.


Poetry: ” …That Passeth All Understanding” by Denise Levertov

An awe so quiet
I don’t know when it began.
A gratitude
has begun
to sing in me.
Was there
some moment
dividing
song from no song?
When does dewfall begin?
When does night
fold its arms over our hearts
to cherish them?
When is daybreak?

Music: When I First Believed ~ Mitch Langley

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