"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." With these words John begins his Gospel, which we heard proclaimed at the Christmas Mass during the day. It is a beautiful expounding of the place of Jesus within the context of creation. And the Gospel of John, differing from the three synoptic gospels, gives us more of a revelation of the the theology of God with us.
Today the Church celebrates the feast of John, the Apostle and Evangelist, the Beloved Disciple, the youngest by far of the twelve and therefore the one watched over and cared for in a special way by the Lord himself. John was also the one of the twelve that lived the longest and the one who did not die a martyr's death, although spending much time in exile. The Scriptures credit him and his disciples with the fourth Gospel, a number of short letters, and the much misunderstood Book of Revelation.
On this second great feast in the Christmas Octave, may our love of Scripture, our love of the study of God, our openness to his ongoing revelation of the Word, and our commitment to the Church find strength in John, the Beloved Disciple.
I visited my former parish of Saint John the Baptist in Scottdale this afternoon to pay my respects to the family and pray for the repose of the soul of Gene Dzambo, the former custodian of the parish (some of it during my tenure as pastor). Gene served for about 19 years in that capacity, and served the parish well. People in the parish and kids in the school knew and loved this man. The Kapr Funeral Home was packed with family and friends sharing stories, comfort and love. His funeral is tomorrow at Saint John the Baptist Church, and our thoughts go out to his wife, Ruth and their family. May he rest in peace.