All in Christ

John 21: 20-25
Acts 28:16-20, 30-31 / Ps 11:4,5,7

This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
(John 21:24)

Lord, only one thing You require:
Be faithful in good times and in rough;
For lofty posts let me not aspire,
To serve You is privilege enough.

Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, who had reclined close to his chest at the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” 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?” Follow me!” So the word spread among the brethren that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, ““What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be described, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21: 20-25)

Reflection

It cannot be denied that St. John was the favorite apostle of Jesus. He was the only one who could recline close to the bosom of Jesus, and to whom the Lord revealed who was going to betray Him. He was the only apostle who stayed with Jesus in Calvary, and to whom Jesus entrusted His mother, Mary. St. Peter knew this, and wondered what role St. John would be undertaking, since he (Peter) was the one tasked by the Lord to “take care of My sheep.” So Jesus answered him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?” (Jn.21:22)

On the part of St. John, his own words in this Gospel were a self-fulfilling prophecy, when he wrote: “So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die” (he was talking about himself), because he was the only apostle who did not suffer martyrdom like the rest of his compatriots. He died at an old age, in exile in the island of Patmos, where it is believed he wrote his Gospel.

St. Peter had no cause to worry about God’s plan for St. John, because even if he was the apostle closest to Jesus’ heart, it was St. Peter who was destined to be the leader of the Twelve and head of the early Church. St. John knew his part, and was even subservient to St. Peter (Jn.20:3-8). He, however, would have a greater impact on the future Christian world, for he was commissioned by the Holy Spirit to write the ‘Gospel of Love’.

All of us who are called to serve have different roles to play in God’s plan of salvation. It is not the position or responsibility given to us that matters in the eyes of God, but our willingness and commitment to serve Him. As we say in the renewal, more important than our ability is our availability. Whether one is a leader in Christ’s organization or a follower, we are all equally important in His Mystical Body. As St. Paul explains, “No one must think of himself more highly than others, but with a sober mind consider each one according to the faith that God has apportioned. For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually, parts of one another” (Rom.12:3-5).

Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for the gift of brotherhood, for being called to serve in a community sanctified in the Name of Jesus our Lord, and constantly empowered and guided by Your Holy Spirit. Preserve it Lord from intrigues and personal ambition, which are works of the evil one. Help us to persevere in our appointed tasks. Amen.

Comments are closed.