REFLECTION FOR TODAY
May 22, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” Jn. 21:21
As we conclude our Easter season, we are given the conclusion of the gospel of John. We recall from yesterday’s reflection what Jesus told Peter about the kind of death he will glorify God. In our gospel reference today Peter asked Jesus “what about him?” referring to what kind of Death will John have to suffer?
Jesus did not answer this question directly. It was the practice of Jesus to turn aside questions that are not pertinent or question that are mere curiosity. So, to the curious question of Peter, Jesus tells Peter that the time or kind of death of the beloved disciple was none of his business. “If it is my will that he remains until I come, what is that to you?”
This answer of Jesus was very ambiguous, and it was misinterpreted among the disciples as they rumor among themselves that John would not die. At every rate, the fact remain that John lived to a very old age that report went round that he will keep living until the second coming of Jesus.
John the Apostle is a witness par excellence in the Church. The gospel of John has been a central focus throughout the Easter Season. Therefore, if you have been prayerfully reading the gospel for mass each day for the past several weeks, then you have truly immersed yourself in this holy gospel.
The gospel of Saint John is much different from the other three Synoptic Gospels. John’s language is mystical and symbolic. John presents the seven miracles as the seven “signs” that reveal Jesus’ divinity. Jesus is identified as I AM, the Son of the Father, the Vine, the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Eternal Word, and more. John points to the Crucifixion as Jesus’ hour of glory in which He takes up His throne of the Cross for the salvation of the world. And John’s teaching on the Eucharist is truly profound.
In the Church, we have Shepherds like Peter and missionaries like Paul. One role does not exclude the other. John is primarily a witness. Peter primarily a shepherd and Paul primarily a missionary. Although John is also a shepherd and missionary and Peter also a witness and a missionary and Paul also a shepherd and a witness.
In the Church, there are many roles. There should not be any competition, no rivalry, no greater or lesser task. All are servants of God. Let a person serve where God wants him/her to serve. There are those who bring Christ to people and there are those who bring people to Christ.
Reflect, today, about your curiosity and about the unhealthy competition and rivalry among us Christians today. Allow yourself to sit in awe of the infinite activity of our divine Lord in the lives of everyone He has called to service. Consider the image of rose and lily. Why should a rose be a lily and a lily rose? why should a rose envy the lily or a lily envy the rose? Be focus on your calling.
Lord Jesus, You are truly beyond comprehension in Your beauty, glory and holiness. You are God from God and Light from Light. You are the Great I AM, and all the books in the world could not properly describe the depth of Your greatness. Fill my mind and heart with the gift of deep spiritual insight so that I, will see beyond the curiosity of my mind and not allow unhealthy competition and rivalry cost me my salvation. Jesus, I trust in You.