Monday, December 26, 2011

Blessed are the Pure of Heart!

St. John's writings enjoy pride of place in the Liturgy. His epistles are read during the Christmas Season. His Gospel and the Book of Revelations are read during the Easter Season. The Gospel on Christmas day, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday came for his Gospel. This only shows how the Church regards highly this Beloved Apostle of Christ.

Come to think of it, St. John seems to have the gift of being first to recognize the Lord Jesus. His prologue shows the St. John recognized the glory of Christ as the glory of God's only begotten Son, full of grace and truth. In the resurrection narrative, he was first to "see and believe" the signs of the Resurrection. When they were out fishing, St. John was the one who recognized the Lord on the shore: "It is the Lord!"

His purity enabled him to immediately recognize and believe in the Lord's presence. The Divine Office today repeatedly refers to the "virgin John". Did not our Lord say in the Beatitudes: Blessed at the pure of heart, for they shall see God!

The first to lay mortal eyes on the new-born Babe was the Blessed Virgin. The first to see the Risen Christ was still the Blessed Virgin. Second to the Blessed Virgin, the virgin John recognized the signs of the Resurrection.

How wonderful virginity is! God derives much honor from virginity! Among the martyrs, the virgin-martyrs are a specially beloved class. Consecrated virgins enjoy a special place in the Church. God is truly glorified by virginity because this is a manifestation of a person's total availability to God. Thus, Satan struggles to destroy it. The sexual revolution that opened the way to promiscuity in society was definitely the work of the Evil One.

Our gift to the Christ-child ought to be the revival of the culture of purity in our own homes. Worthy are you, O John, for in your purity, you have seen and heard the Word of Life!

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