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Monday, December 26, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, Feast of St. John

1 John, Chapter 4, Verse 18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

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.

Feast of St John[1]

The Feast of St. John the Apostle commemorates his life.  He was one Jesus' 12 disciples.  He was one of the three disciples, which included Peter and James, who were included in some of the most important events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, including Jesus' crucifixion and transfiguration. St John is also the author of the Gospel of John, one of four gospels in the New Testament, John I, II, and III, and the Revelation of John.

St John Facts

·         John was a fisherman before he began following Christ.  He was the brother of St. James the Greater.  Jesus gave the brothers the name, sons of thunder. (Mark 3:17)
·         When Jesus was dying on the cross, he asked John to take care of his mother (John 19:25-27).
·         In the Gospel of John, he frequently refers to the most beloved disciple. Some theologians believe he is referring to himself, while others believe the reference is used for the reader to insert himself into the role.
·         Besides Paul, John was the most prolific writer in the New Testament.  His body of work includes 'The Revelation of John' and three epistles.
·         The Feast Day for St. John the Apostle is held in the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations on December 27, the third day of Christmas.  In the Orthodox Church, it is called the Feast of the Holy and Glorious Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, which is held September 26.  This feast shouldn't be confused with the Feast of St. John the Baptist, which is held in both faith traditions on June 24.

St John Top Events and Things to Do

·         Read the Gospel of John.  It is different than the other three Gospels and was thought to the last written of the four books in the New Testament.
·         Read the Revelation of John, thought to be written by the apostle.  The rich symbolism has been thought to foretell the end of the world, but many biblical scholars believe it was written to offer hope to Christians persecuted by Rome.
·         St John is the Patron Saint of Turkey.  Consider visiting this beautiful country - or take a virtual tour with Google Maps.

Blessing of the Wine[2]

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.

Holy 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.

Saint John was the only Apostle who did not suffer martyrdom, though several attempts were made on his life. One of these involved giving him a glass of wine that had been poisoned. The saint, however, suffered no harm because he blessed it before he drank. The wine drunk or blessed on this day is called "St. John's Love" (Johannesminne) or St. John's Wine. When the wine has been blessed by a priest, it becomes a sacramental, and is kept in the house throughout the year as a good thing for a newlywed couple to drink on their return from church, as an aid for travelers before a long trip, and as succor for the dying after they have received the sacraments. In the Catholic Cookbook, William Kaufman includes a recipe for St. John's Wine:


1 quart red wine
3 whole cloves
1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 two-inch cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar

Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Boil for 5 minutes (after which point the alcohol is virtually evaporated). (Serve hot. 8-10 servings) Today we honor the disciple who lay closest to Christ the High Priest during the first Mass and today is a festival for priests.[3]
Today is traditionally the third day of Christmas and the Three French Hens from the song The 12 days of Christmas represent the three cardinal virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.  Let us talk to the Lord today and ask Him how we are doing in these three virtues and how we may improve in them. 






[2]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=46

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