Like John the Apostle, you and I spiritually lie close to the heart of Jesus as we witness his love for us and commit ourselves to the care of one another.
Tradition holds that John was the son of Zebedee and Salome and the brother of the Apostle James. James and John were the cousins of Jesus, since their mother Salome was sister of Mary. They were among the first disciples called and Jesus referred to them collectively as "Boanerges" (translated "sons of thunder," Mark 3:17). Peter, James, and John witnessed the raising of Jairus' Daughter (Mark 5:37), the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1), and the Agony of Jesus in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37).
According to Luke, only John and Peter went into the city to prepare for the final Passover meal (22:8). John was the "disciple whom Jesus loved," who reclined next to Jesus in the upper room (John 13:23-25). After Jesus' arrest, Peter and the "other disciple" (John) followed Jesus into the palace of the high-priest (John 18:15). According to John's gospel, John alone remained near Jesus at the foot of the cross and took Mary, the mother of Jesus, into his care (John 19:25-27).
As we read God's Word and receive his Sacraments, like John, we witness the power and love of Jesus, are encouraged to lean on him, and are admonished to care for those Jesus loves.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your tender love and care. May you always open our eyes to your miracles about us, and may you empower us to love one another as you have loved us. In your most benevolent name we pray. Amen.
John 21:20-25 (NRSV)
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?"
21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him?"
22 Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!"
23 So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?"
24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.