Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
In the first reading, John writes “so that our joy may be complete” (1 Jn. 1:4). The writings of John abound with descriptions of joy and love. The declaration that “God is love” comes only a few verses later in this letter (v. 8). For this reason, one of the great old customs of this feast day is to share a bottle of blessed wine at dinner, and as each glass is passed out, to declare “I drink you the love of St. John,” and respond “I thank you for the love of St. John.” The blessed wine, like John’s words, warm our hearts with the love of God.
Comforts like this are essential on life’s journey. Many times we feel that our joy is not really complete. St. Augustine spent years of his life searching for a joy that would give his heart rest. It was finally in coming to love Jesus that Augustine felt he was equipped to go through the difficulties of life. We experience this love in many ways. Through the sacraments, through the prayers of the Church, and through things like blessed wine with dinner, we may experience this love and joy. As we experience the joy that comes from the Lord, our joy may be made complete—because joy from the Lord is the one kind of joy that does not end.