The Last Gospel

When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. John 19:26-27

By now I am sure you all heard of the passing of Pope Benedict XVI. Eternal Rest Grant unto Him O Lord.

I myself am saddened over the passing of this Pope who made the Latin Mass more available to me, at least for a time, before it was taken away again. As I sat at Mass this morning in a Novus Ordo Mass, I found it fitting that the Gospel read on this day, the day of his death, is the “last Gospel”, the Priest even pointed it out in his homily. For those of you who don’t know what the “last Gospel” is, it is the Gospel that is read at the end of every Latin Mass.

In the beginning was the Word,
    and the Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God. 
All things came to be through him,
    and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
    and this life was the light of the human race;
    the light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light, 
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
    and the world came to be through him,
    but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
    but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
    he gave power to become children of God, 
    to those who believe in his name, 
    who were born not by natural generation 
    nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision 
    but of God.

And the Word became flesh
    and made his dwelling among us,
    and we saw his glory,
    the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son,
    full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying, 
“This was he of whom I said, 
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me 
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses, 
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, 
has revealed him.

John 1:1-18

This Gospel in the Latin Mass is a reminder of the great act of Salvation that was celebrated in the Mass. I don’t find it coincidence that it is the Novus Ordo reading on the day Pope Benedict died. He, who gave us more access to the beauty of this tradition, who allowed me to experience a profound holiness in a way I never had before, died on the day of the “last Gospel” reading. This realization was accompanied by sorrow for me.

I left Mass and visited our old chapel to place white roses and flowers in front of Our Blessed Mother as a friend had texted and encouraged me to do. I ended the new year with a Chaplet of Seven Sorrows and a Chaplet of Saint Michael. I would encourage you all to do this as well, either today, or tomorrow on the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.

I believe we are now entering more fully into the epoch of the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin Mary and we need to call on the protection of the angels, and the purification of our souls. I placed my intentions in a prayer jar and laid it at the feet of the Blessed Virgin who is stomping on the head of the serpent. May I become pure and holy this year, may I love as you love, my I be in the Will of the Father.

While I believe big changes are on the horizon, we must always remember that God is the biggest of all and we must look up to His glory and greatness as we start the new year.

Don’t forget to pick a New Saint for the year, if you haven’t already. I picked John the Evangelist, for the second time since I started picking Saints. May he intercede for me and my family this year.

I encourage you to Be Not Afraid and to pray without ceasing. May God Bless you and Keep you. See you in 2023.

The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness. Pope Benedict XVI

About veilofveronica

I am a mother and wife as well as an RCIA and Adult Faith Formation catechist at a parish in the south. I have 3 children and a great husband.
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16 Responses to The Last Gospel

  1. Kathleen Walker says:

    Also in today’s mass readings , 1 John 2 “It is the final hour”. And today is the last day of the year. All significant.

  2. Thank you for this timely post…agree The Church is being niw immersed in this “epoch” .
    I had been pondering the significance of whatever date when Pope Benedict woukd pass… ultimately in prayer, what came was that the timing between the Feast of the Holy Family and Solemnity of Mary Mother of God was fitting .
    As well at mass seeing the last gospel reading.

    Fr Landry also pointed out in his preaching blog how Pope Benedict offered a Te Deum service every December 31 in his papacy to thank God for the year past. This put even more significance to 12/31

    https://catholicpreaching.com/wp/living-with-benedict-xvi-the-last-hour-seventh-day-of-the-christmas-octave-december-31-2022/

    Yes, Our Blessed Mother and her divine spouse the Holy Spirit are our lampposts now. Will pray the chaplets you suggested, 🙏🏼Thanks . Happy new year and God bless you

  3. Geminiano says:

    Providence entrusted me to a German saint! Her commemoration falls on the octave of Our Lady of Candlemas!

    Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich
    Feast: February 9

    Please tag @JenniferFulwiler when you share your saint on Instagram!

    God’s blessings in the new year to you Susan, your family and your readers!

  4. Thank you for this beautiful blog

  5. Finnian-John says:

    The humility that Pope Benedict XVI demonstrated in his decision to resign in the face of a task that was simply too great for him will always inspire me! His very nature was non-confrontational. He knew that he would not be able to withstand the enormity of the hate and animosity that would take aim at whomever dared to take on the needed cleansing of the Catholic Church, including the curia, itself. It was his deep love for the church that motivated him to do the “unthinkable” and step aside, knowing that he would possibly be criticized for such an action. It did not matter though. He knew all too well the “cancerous” state of the church and was willing to do what ever was necessary to get the task done. To that end he remained in the background, quietly praying and supporting his successor as he engaged the enormous battle that has ensued both inside and outside the Vatican. Just as his intuition told him, the current pope is one of the most hated popes there ever was, even by his very own. It is no easy task. Who in their right mind would even accept the “election” to the papacy?

    • I love reading Benedict’s writings even more than JPII, who wrote many beautiful things, because Benedict wrote with clarity in a way I could understand. May God rest His soul.
      You’re right that the church needs cleansing and I am positive he knew that.
      The papacy has always been hated and historically we have had some pretty awful Popes, putting a dead man on trial like Pope Stephen VI! But there is something different about today – the widespread media access and ability to throw our opinions out there instantaneously. It would be difficult to be Pope, thankfully we know the Holy Spirit guides the church, and we know what God allows is for our betterment.
      Pray for our current Pope as the church has always asked us to do. He definitely needs the prayers as we move forward.

    • Kathleen Walker says:

      I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  6. Lfrancis says:

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you for posting your thoughts on this sad occasion. Every other word/ thought that you expressed seemed to jump out at me, as they had occurred to me too in the last few days, though I am miles away from you in another country. The Holy Spirit is moving. You have been such a source of inspiration to me over the last several years. I hope I am able to shake off my timidity/ reticence and be a beacon of light in my corner of the world in this coming year.

    May God bless and shield you and your family, and may Pope Benedict VI pray for us all.

  7. Kary says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post. Can you tell me more about picking a Saint for the Year, or direct me to one of your previous posts detailing this? Sounds like a wonderful idea and I would like to present and encourage it to my family.

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