No, I’m not being politically correct, I’m being liturgically correct. The end of December is a rapid-fire collection of major holy days: Saint Thomas on the 21st, Christmas on the 25th, St. Stephen yesterday, St. John today, and the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem tomorrow.
Just as, at the principle Communion service on Christmas Day, we read from the Gospel of John about the Light that was coming into the world, so at today’s Communion service do we see the light of Christ in the reading from John’s epistle – the Church is called to “walk in the light” (1 John 1). Using the Old Testament story of Moses preparing to see God’s glory, this holiday reminds us that John, as one of the Apostles, saw Jesus face to face, and learned from him for three years as one of his closest friends. This didn’t make John perfect (for in the Gospel [John 21:9b-25] it’s pointed out that John would still die someday), but it did make him a powerful witness and teacher of the faith. Today’s Psalm (92) describes the kind of man that John became: a righteous man who bore fruit even to old age. This holiday reminds us to sit at the feet of St. John and listen to his witness of our Savior, Christ Jesus.