Today’s readings are the readings for celebration of the life of John. The son of Zebedee, he was one of the twelve apostles of Our Lord. Together with his brother James and with Simon Peter, he was part of an even tighter group among the Twelve. These three were privileged to behold the miracle of the Great Catch of Fish, the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, the raising of the daughter of Jairus, the Transfiguration, and the Agony in Gethsemane.
John wrote three epistles and one Gospel that all bear his name. He is also the author of the book of Revelation.
Though John was willing to be martyred, the best evidence suggests that after he was imprisoned and exiled for his testimony to the Gospel, he was eventually released and died a natural death in Ephesus. Thus he is known as “a martyr in will but not in deed"—a type of martyrdom which, perhaps, we will more likely be called to emulate.
The familiar themes of our need to love one another, to walk in the light by keeping God’s commandments, and the sure identity of Jesus as God’s son who gives eternal life to those who believe in him are both found in today’s reading from 1 John. These are themes which should mark our lives as well, and be readily apparent to all who know or observe us.
Finally, I leave you this day with the appointed prayer for the day:
Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light; that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.