St John on a 12th c MS.jpgToday we honor the Apostle who likely knew the Lord’s
mind and heart the best. Typically, Holy Church uses Scripture to bring us into
the sacred Liturgy but today the entrance antiphon is taken from the other leg
of the Magisterium, that of tradition to orient our prayer and belief. We are

This is John, who reclined on the Lord’s breast at supper, the blessed
Apostle, to whom celestial secrets were revealed and who spread  the words of life through all the

With the Church we pray,

O God, who through the blessed Apostle John
have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word, grant, we pray, that we may
grasp with proper understanding what he has so marvelously brought to our

Saint John is the son of Zebedee and Salome whose older brother is James. From the Apostle we have received the several books of the New Testament -hence the mention in the Mass prayer that John “unlocked for us the secrets of your [God] Word.” The feast of the Beloved Disciple is maintained among the churches and many of the ecclesial communities; before the revision of the liturgical calendar by Pope Pius XII in 1955 John had an octave celebration. The symbols assigned to John is the eagle because the gospel soars in its contemplation (prayer) of the mystery of the Eternal Word. John is well-known for his emphasis on making room for God, that is, spending time in prayer with the God. You might also think that John’s eagle eye gives a keen sense of who Jesus is and how we are to follow Him.

On this feast of Saint John might we consider to renew our commitment to lectio divina and to the study of sacred Scripture.

No doubt your parish priest invoked Saint John’s blessing upon wine at today’s Mass. In case he needs the text, here is the Blessing of Wine