Saturday, December 27, 2014

Collects for St John the Evangelist

Prayerbook and Breviary

MERCIFUL Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St John's gospel is a tour de force of writing. It synthesizes Greek and Jewish wisdom and gives us the means to inquire about the mysteries of the faith to bring us closer to God. St John is unlike the other Gospel writers whose Gospels interact, give the details and incidences which show us the narrative of the Life of Our Lord. These synoptic Gospels each have their own individual beauty and nuance; they see the same things through different eyes but in order to provide the physical facts. They are so important.

St John's gospel, however, is what we now know to be metaphysical. From the outset with his discussion of Our Lord as the Incarnate Logos. St John speaks those great mystical statements which would be out of place in the other Gospels, not because they disagree or are out of harmony with each other, but rather because they have their own agenda: St Matthew for the Hebrew, St Luke  for the Gentile, St Mark for the Fact, St John for the Theory.

St John speaks the words and teaching of Jesus. He speaks the great "I am" statements, the forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery, the themes of light versus dark (though refuting the gnostic duality) and the long, emotionally charged and utterly devastating last sermon of Our Lord at the Last Supper. We can be confident that St John is like Our Lord because he sees Him as He really is. We shall too, if we choose.

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