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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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 of Jesus' 12 disciples.  He was one of the three disciples, which included Peter and James, who were involved in some of the most important events in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, including Jesus' crucifixion and transfiguration.

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 be 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.

St. John's Day[3] (December 27)

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. It is in honor of this deliverance that the blessing and drinking of wine on St. John's Day was once a popular custom. People had a bottle of wine blessed after the Saint's Mass and then drank it at the family dinner (notice how easily this can still be done). The special blessing for this occasion from the Roman ritual sums up the meaning of this custom:

Blessing for the 1st Cup

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.

Blessing for the 2nd Cup

O Lord God, deign to bless and consecrate with Thy right hand this cup of wine and of whatever drink: and grant that through the merits of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist, all who believe in Thee and who drink from this cup may be blessed and protected. And as blessed John drank from the cup of poison and remained completely unharmed, may, through his merits, all who drink from the cup on this day in honor of blessed John be rescued from every sickness of poison and from every kind of harm; and, offering themselves up body and soul, may they delivered from all fault. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing of the 3rd Cup

Bless, O Lord, this creature of drink: that it may be a remedy of salvation for all who consume it: and grant through the invocation of Thy holy name that whoever will have tasted of it may, through Thy giving, experience health of the soul as well as of the body. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing of the 4th Cup

Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, descend upon this creature of wine and of whatever drink, and remain forever. Amen.



Today, on the day honoring the disciple who lay closest to Christ the High Priest during the first Mass, was the festival for priests.

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.[4]

Three French Hens

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. 

49 Godly Character Traits[5]

During this Christmas season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:

Loyalty vs. Unfaithfulness

Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God  and to those whom He has called me to serve (John 15:13)

218 In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one reason to reveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among all peoples as his special possession: his sheer gratuitous love. And thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.

1880 A society is a group of persons bound together organically by a principle of unity that goes beyond each one of them. As an assembly that is at once visible and spiritual, a society endures through time: it gathers up the past and prepares for the future. By means of society, each man is established as an "heir" and receives certain "talents" that enrich his identity and whose fruits he must develop. He rightly owes loyalty to the communities of which he is part and respect to those in authority who have charge of the common good.

2238 Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts: "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution. . . . Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God." Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         30 Days with St. Joe
·         Christmas Calendar
·         Novena to the Holy Face Day 1
·         Please pray for me and this ministry



[2]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=46
[5]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/ 

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