Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
June 8, 2019
Today, in Mercy, our Gospel reveals a lot about the relationships and personalities among Jesus and his disciples.
John is described as “the one whom Jesus loved”, indicating that there was a unique affection shared between them. What was that like? John was younger than most of the other men. Perhaps he needed more overt direction and care from Jesus. We know from John’s later extensive contributions to scripture that he was a poet and a visionary, someone with heightened sensitivities. Perhaps John expressed his love for Jesus more openly, triggering a similar response in Jesus.
Peter, once again, appears as the questioner. Throughout the Gospels, he is always asking Jesus to explain, to define, to assure. In today’s reading, Jesus has given Peter the prime call to follow him. But Peter wants more. Looking at John, Peter wants to know, “What about him… will he follow?”
Maybe Peter is a lot like some of us, a little unsure of where we are in God’s love. Maybe he wants to know how he compares to John, the obvious “Beloved Disciple”.
Jesus doesn’t coddle Peter. He wants Peter to “man up”. Peter has immense leadership responsibilities ahead of him. He needs to rely totally on Jesus’s promise to him.
So Jesus tells him not to worry about how others are loved and called by God. He tells Peter, “ You follow me!” – that’s all you have to be concerned about.
Everybody’s call to follow is personal and different. It comes dressed in our particular life circumstances, gifts and awarenesses. God wants Peter and God wants John. He doesn’t want clones of either.
And God wants and calls each one of us in our uniqueness. By entering deeply into our own spirit, we will find our answer to God’s call.
Teresa of Avila said this:
It is foolish to think that we will enter heaven
without entering into ourselves.
May dear, questioning Peter inspire us today to be brave, confident and complete in our own response to God’s call.
Music: Follow Me – Ray Repp