Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Personal Reflection on Saint John the Beloved

My name is Ian, and as I searched for what my name means, I discovered that it was a Scottish variant of the name John, and parallel to the Russian "Ivan", the Irish "Sean", and the Greek "Ioannis". That means, if my name (Ian Joseph) is Latinized, it would be Ioannes Iosephus (correct me if I'm wrong); and in Spanish, strictly speaking, Juan Jose.

Anyway, aside from that, I could really relate to the name, since it is actually Biblical, though the foreign variation. It actually means "God is gracious" (and its cool because we Catholics believe that it is grace that moves us to something). I said that it is Biblical because there were two characters with that name and are related to Christ: one was His Forerunner and relative (John the Baptist); the other His Apostle and an evangelist (John the Beloved). I'm more close to that of the latter.

Saint John was an ordinary fisherman's boy prior to the call of Jesus, where he, alongside his brother James and their neighbors Peter and Andrew, were called to become "fishers of men". John was actually reckoned as the youngest of the Twelve, basically in his teens or early twenties. It was him who sat beside Jesus at the Last Supper, an event where the Apostles were ordained priests. It was him who, in behalf of the Church, stood at the foot of the cross and in his care the Lord entrusted His Mother--to become our Mother too. It was him who ran ahead of Peter yet entered after him at the tomb where Jesus lied as a corpse, to discover that it was empty and that He is risen. It was him who recognized the Lord when seven of the Apostles gone fishing. He is sometimes called "the Theologian" for his outstanding writings--the Three Epistles, the Book of Revelation, and the Gospel attributed to him in which it starts as "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." (1:1;14) These writings in the Scriptures are reserved for Christmas and Easter, especially the Gospel, which was the undoing of the sinful acts in the Book of Genesis.

I ponder on the fact that he was the youngest of Christ's inner circle of followers--the first bishops. For my part, I happen to be the youngest in organizations I'm affiliated to outside the four walls of UST: the youngest admin of 100% KATOLIKONG PINOY!, one of the youngest members of Filipinos for Life, one of the youngest aspiring apologists, and so on. In the spirituality of Saint John's youthful status in the Twelve, I see myself as a manifestation that his namesakes would be young, yet inspired by Divine Grace to be what he wants to be for God's glory.

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