The evangelist of the Incarnation

by Kevin Birnbaum

St_John_the_Evangelist_El_GrecoSt. John the Evangelist by El Greco (1541-1614)

Today is the feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist. John’s Gospel is great reading for the Christmas season, even though John, unlike Matthew and Luke, wrote no infancy narrative. Instead, John tried to explain the significance of Jesus’ birth, and to put the incomprehensible fact of the Incarnation into words. John’s Gospel famously begins, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:1,14). There’s enough substance and mystery in those few words for a lifetime of prayer and reflection.