The WORD in other words by Fr Dante Barril SVD (Rome)
December 27 / Feast of Saint John, the Evangelist and Apostle
Photo by Fr Rey An Yatco / Facebook
Why do we have an Easter Gospel on the Octave of Christmas? Because without Easter, there won’t be a Christmas. Christian faith starts not from the beginning, but from the end. The resurrection opened a floodgate of questions. It drove Jesus’ “friends” to ask Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How.
And so, stories were told from the beginning (the Infancy Narratives of Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2) and even before everything began (the Pre-existence of Jesus in John 1).
And the “storytellers” were Mary Magdalene, who suspected “body snatching” without even going inside the tomb for verification; who fabricated a companion “we (she went alone to the tomb!) don’t know where they have put him!”
Another was Simon Peter, among the chief resurrection storytellers, known as “The Rock” – a somewhat deceiving epithet since he was famed not for his stability but for his being “rocked” many times over.
Also was this unnamed beloved disciple of Jesus, so mysterious to the point of being more symbolic than historic.
And finally, there’s the rest of the so-called “Apostles,” who during this fateful early morning were nowhere to be found. They were holed up in some undisclosed place; not even the bible has recorded it.
This amazing story rested on the feeble shoulders of these dark and even shady characters. But the Jesus’ story is so lustrously bright that it transformed their darkness and shadiness into a brightness and luminosity that sparkled and glittered like our Christmas trees. And so was fulfilled what Jesus once said, “You are the light of the world…your light must shine before others” (Mt 5,14.16).
We are called to this same mission. May we tell the world of Jesus’ love and fill its darkest corners with His Light.