John, Chapter 7, verse 13:
13 Still, no one spoke openly about him because they were afraid of the Jews.
Today is the feast of St. John so I chose a verse on fear from the gospel of John. We see here that Jesus was a wanted man because he was fearless toward the Jews and they hated him for it. People were afraid to even speak about Jesus or worst yet speak up in his behalf. Often it is easier for us to not speak up when we hear gossip or worse yet to join in the gossip and relish in it. We often love to hear the worse things about others or lack the courage to defend their good name. It has been said it is better to say nothing then to say anything negative about another but Christ compels us to go even further with this verse; to be fearless in the defense of others.
Traditionally wine is blessed on the Feast of St. John. Wine if used in moderation is a good thing. Yet, sometimes it may cause an increase in our fears or make us fool hardy when speaking, giving us a false sense of courage. So blessing our wine is a good idea to dedicate its use for our good and not our detriment.
St. Johns wine blessingHoly Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God! You willed that Your Son, equal to You in agelessness and substance should descend from heaven and in the fullness of time be born of the most holy Virgin Mary. Thus He could seek the lost and wayward sheep and carry it on His shoulders to the sheepfold, and could cure the man fallen among robbers of his wounds by pouring in oil and wine. Deign now to bless and sanctify this wine which You produced for man's drink. Whoever drinks of it on this holy feast, grant him life in body and soul. By Your goodness, let it be to him strength to prosper him on the way, that his journey may come to a blessed end. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today is also the second day of Christmas the two turtle doves in the 12 days of Christmas song are symbolic of the two bible testaments the old and the new. For those who the Holy Spirit inspires perhaps it would be a good habit to start your day by reading the old testament in the morning and the new testament in the evening.