Now beside the cross of Jesus stood His mother, His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. So when Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household.~John 19: 25-27~
Which, of the Holy Apostles, Would you Choose to Meet?
If you could meet any one of the twelve Holy Apostles, who would you choose? We know that the original twelve walked with Jesus. And it is fair to conclude that each man had a different personality, and, although they all loved Him, saw Our Lord through different eyes. So, each apostle would probably tell you something different about Him; about what He taught them, and, most importantly, about their love for Him and their willingness to be martyred for following and obeying Him.
Although we know little about some, we can get a fair picture of most of the apostles by reading the Gospels and Epistles. Considering this, who would you choose to meet?
And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
A wise theologian once told me, “Mathew, Mark, and Luke told the story. John explained it.”
We know that the first three Gospels are synoptic but John’s Gospel is quite different. Theologians and scholars offer much information about the differences in John’s Gospel; events, styles of Jesus’ teachings, etc.
We are told that Saint John lived for about ninety-four years. He was the youngest of the twelve and was probably about eighteen years old at the time of the crucifixion.
It is believed that Mary was about forty-seven when Jesus was crucified and she was about sixty years old when she was assumed into Heaven. Considering these ages, we can conclude that Saint John lived with and cared for Our Lady for about thirteen years, from about eighteen to thirty years of age. These are impressionable years for a young man, especially considering and adding to them, the three years he spent with Our Lord.
Can You Imagine?
Let us now go back to my original question, “If you could meet any one of the twelve Holy Apostles, who would you choose?”
As a woman with a deep devotion to Mary, I would not have to think twice about the answer. Of course, I would want to meet Saint John! Can you imagine the insight he was given to Our Lord by His mother? He lived with her as she grieved for Him. He lived with her sorrowful heart and she probably shared much with him. Can you imagine spending thirteen years of your life, on earth, with the mother of God? Imagine the stories she told, the memories she shared; memories of His childhood, the years between His teaching the elders in the temple (at twelve years old) and beginning His ministry at thirty. We know nothing about these years but Our Lady knew everything, and she most likely shared much with John.
I don’t know that scholars have attributed this to any of the differences in John’s Gospel but it seems to me that, in living with Mary, Saint John would have come to a spiritual love and a deeper understanding of Jesus, the Godman; an insight only a mother could give. Of course, his Gospel would be different. He prayed with the mother of Our Lord. He comforted her, cared for her, walked with her, and shared with her for thirteen years.
So, yes! If I could spend time with any one of the twelve holy apostles, it would be John the Beloved.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
~John 1: 1-5
Marilyn Nash for the HolyApostles.com.