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devotions

That Our Joy May Be Complete

dec 27th

Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

First Reading: 1 John 1:1-4

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12

The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory. Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Gospel: John 20:1-8

Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag’dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed.

ESV

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Today is the third day of Christmas and the Feast of Saint John, the Evangelist: the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”

In today’s First Reading, Saint John himself reminds us that it’s not enough for us to love God. In order for our joy in our faith to be complete we need to share it.

What better time to do that than Christmas?

All the hullabaloo that’s been going on since Halloween has just been a prelude. It’s been our time of preparation. For NOW. For Christmas.

And it is Christmas TODAY, just as much as it was two days ago. It’s Christmas tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. It’s Christmas everyday straight through until Thursday. And if you want to go old school you can keep right on celebrating until Twelfth Night on January 6th.

It’s the weekend, I know, and it’s tempting to start tidying up and moving on. But I’d encourage you to keep your tree up and your lights on and your decorations out and your carols playing. And, more importantly, to keep it Christmas in your heart as well as in your home.

How can we keep Christmas going? Well, by following the words and example of Saint John. His is a constant message of love and of fellowship. The best evangelization looks a lot like hospitality. Call up some friends and have them over for pizza and a bottle of wine. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life, or A Muppet Christmas Carol, or Home Alone. Have a game night or a White Elephant party where everyone brings their least favorite Christmas present to exchange.

Didn’t send out your Christmas cards? No problem. It’s still Christmas. You can send them now. Bring cookies to the neighbors. Or visit someone who needs visiting.

Share your joy, so your joy can be complete. Merry Christmas, ladies!

Dec 27

photo credit top

Kendra Tierney can be found tending nine chickens, seven children, and one husband in Los Angeles, CA. You can find out more about her here.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Tracy Bua Smith
    December 27, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Amen! Merry Christmas!!

  • Reply
    jayne
    December 27, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Thank you for the reminder. It’s our first year celebrating Christmas past Dec 25. It’s only been two days but I love it and so does my family. We use to be one of those families that rushed to put everything away with our mindset on goals for new year and Valentine’s…now we are enjoying time together, the gifts we were given and slowly the new year will come.

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