The holy apostle and evangelist John the Theologian reposed when he was more than a hundred years old. He far outlived the other eyewitnesses of the Lord, and for a long time he remained the only remaining eyewitness of the earthly life of the Savior. When it was time for his departure from this life, the Apostle John went out beyond the city limits of Ephesus with the families of his disciples. He bade them prepare for him a cross-shaped grave, in which he lay, telling his disciples that they should cover him over with the soil. The disciples tearfully kissed their beloved teacher, but not wanting to be disobedient, they fulfilled his bidding. They covered the face of the saint with a cloth and filled in the grave. Learning of this, other disciples of St. John came to the place of his burial. When they opened the grave, they found it empty. Each year from the grave of the holy Apostle John on May 8 came forth a fine dust, which believers gathered up and were healed of sicknesses by it. Therefore, the Church also celebrates the memory of the holy Apostle John the Theologian on May 8.
Beloved Apostle of Christ our God, hasten to deliver a people that lacks any other defense. He who accepted that you lay your head on His breast will also accept your prayer. Pray to Christ, O Theologian, that He may overcome the darkness of pagan nations, and beg that He grant us peace and abundant mercy.
O man of purity, who could describe your glory? Many are the miracles and healings you perform. Since you are a theologian and the beloved of Christ, intercede with Him for the salvation of our souls.
1 John 4: 12-19
Dearly beloved: No one has ever seen God. Yet if we love one another God dwells in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. The way we know we remain in him and he in us is that he has given us his Spirit. We have seen for ourselves, and can testify, that the Father has sent the Son as savior of the world. When anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Our love is brought to perfection in this, that we should have confidence on the day of judgment; for our relation to this world is just like his. Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear. And since fear has to do with punishment, love is not yet perfect in one who is afraid. We, for our part, love because he first loved us.
John 19: 25-27; 21: 24-25
At that time near the cross of Jesus there stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Seeing his mother there with the disciples whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, there is your son.” In turn he said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” From that hour onward, the disciple took her into his care.
It is the same disciple who is witness to these things; it is he who wrote them down and his testimony, we know, is true. There are still many other things that Jesus did, yet if they were written about in detail, I doubt there would be room enough in the entire world to hold the books to record them.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, September 25 –