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  • Sarah Raad

John

God does not love Saint John more than He loves me – Saint John Loves God more than I love God.

Saint John the Evangelist (Titan)

I have been praying to the apostle, Saint John the Beloved, for some time now…


Even so, ever since I was a little girl, I have wondered at this description of Saint John the Beloved because to my little girl mind, it seemed somehow sacrilegious to imply that Christ – God Himself – had favourites, through the naming of one of the apostles as “beloved” and not another. When I was little, this made me wonder, “Does this mean that God does not love me that much after all?”


You see, my mother and father have always been very very careful to treat each of their eight children (and all of their son and daughter in laws and grandchildren) perfectly equally so that nobody would ever be able to accuse them of having favourite children or loving one person more than another.


And when I was a little girl, I simply assumed that treating us all equally meant that we were each given the exact same thing at the exact same time. But this is not the case – and this does not create true equality. You see, equality is useless without equity…


For example, if a very tall person and a very short person wished to see over a wall, providing each with a step to stand on of the exact same size would not provide each of those people with the exact same view. Obviously, the taller person might only need a very small step to stand on (or no step at all) while the shorter person might need a very large step and may need to be positioned in front of the very tall person so that they could have a chance to see properly over the wall…

And when I think about it like that, I can understand a little more of this description of the apostle John – the only apostle who God allowed to die of old age without martyrdom…

You see, Saint John gave his entire life to God… He followed Saint John the Baptist until he was sent to follow Christ. And from the moment that he saw Christ, a moment he remembered to the HOUR when he recounted the story decades later – “it was about the tenth hour” (John 1:39) – Saint John followed his Beloved…


Saint John the Beloved heard Christ preach, he watched the miracles of the water to wine, the loaves and fish, the healing of the blind, lame, deaf and dumb, and the healing of all manner of diseases. He saw the dead brought back to life. Saint John the Beloved saw Christ Transfigured on Mount Tabor.


And then – there he stood in silence – at Calvary too…


There he watched his Beloved despised, beaten, flogged, pushed, spat upon. He watched his Beloved fall, deserted and scorned. There he watched God die…


And he stood in silence beside the Queen of Heaven – loving her too – and watching in silence as her Immaculate Heart was pierced by a sword…


And when I consider this scene it occurs to me that when we call Saint John the Apostle, Saint John the BELOVED, we use this special title of endearment… not because God loves Saint John more than He loves me – it is because Saint John Loves God more than I love God.


And when I realise this truth – with tears in my eyes – I give thanks…


I give thanks for the souls like Saint John’s, which could give some comfort to my Beloved while I had lost my way. And I pray for the Grace to Love my Lord and God as I ought – so that I too could be called Beloved…


Because, as Scott Hahn says in his book, “The First Society, “There is hardly anything more human than the desire to be home. What we must realise, however, is that all these desires are but a reflection of the ultimate human desire of every human person: eternal communion with God in Heaven – our true home. Only in Heaven will all our longings be fulfilled.”


And it is my firm desire to be home – where all my longings will be “fulfilled” – especially my desire to be BELOVED of the One I love…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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