St John the Evangelist was one of the inner circle of Christ's disciples and friends. Present at the Transfiguration, in the Garden of Gethsemane, at the Easter tomb, and the one disciple who, with St. Peter, went ahead of Jesus to find a place and prepare it for the Last Supper, John had a unique and important relationship with Jesus and the opportunity to know him "up close and personal." It would be fascinating to speak with John even now about the Christ he came to know in his daily life.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons we celebrate John's feast so soon after Christmas. John helps us understand, approach and draw close to the Lord everyday, not just as a baby in Bethelem. John's gospel is full of details not found in the synoptic gospels. It is John who introduces us both to Jesus at Cana where, out of obedience to Mary, his mother, he performed his first miracle, and to the angry Jesus who drives the money changers from the temple.
John's Jesus is the compassionate one who eases the pain of a newly married couple who failed to provide sufficient wine for their guests, and to the poor who are being cheated out of the little money they have by unscrupulous men more interested in how much they can extort from pilgrims than making their visit to the Temple an experience of transformation.
Today, as we pause to honor John, Apostle and Evangelist, ask for the gift of compassion.
Who has helped you understand and know Jesus best?