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The Christmas Apostle: An Advent Retreat Guide on St. John the Evangelist
by Fr. John Bartunek, LC SThD
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Two days after Christmas, on December 27th, the Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. John the Evangelist, Jesus’ youngest Apostle and the author of the fourth Gospel, three New Testament Letters, and the Book of Revelation. Why in the world do we do such a thing? Isn’t Christ’s birth itself a big enough celebration to last us for the whole Christmas octave? Is this liturgical pile-on some kind of historical fluke? Not at all. St. John the Evangelist, more than any other of the Eleven Apostles, was wonderfully fascinated by the amazing, marvelous event of God becoming man and living among us. His writings are filled to the brim with this fascination, which is one reason why they play such a central role in the liturgy throughout the Christmas season. St. John is so fascinated with the incarnation, in fact, that there are very good reasons to simply call him the Apostle whose favorite holiday was Christmas. And those reasons are what this Advent Retreat Guide, The Christmas Apostle, will explore.
- In the First Meditation we will dig into the core of St. John’s Christmas message.
- In the Second Meditation, we will meditate on St. John’s own life experience when it comes to living out that message.
- And in the Conference we will reflect on some common obstacles to living Advent well, and how to overcome them.
This Retreat Guide Booklet includes the meditations, conference, and reflection questions, along with space for taking notes and journaling. We hope it helps to further open your heart to Christ.
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