- John 21:20-25
- The Beloved Disciple
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Universalis
“WHAT ABOUT HIM, LORD?” (JOHN 21:21)
GOSPEL: JOHN 21: 20-25
(I sense Jesus wanting to meet me. I prayerfully call upon the Holy Spirit to be present. I prayerfully read today’s gospel passage slowly once through. I sit in silence for a few minutes with the gospel text. I now pray through the following meditation. I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, pausing wherever I need to.)
`This passage makes it quite clear that John must have lived to a very old age; he must have lived on until the report went round that he was going to go on living until Jesus came again. Now, just as the previous passage assigned to Peter his place in the scheme of things, this one assigns to John his place. It was his function to be pre-eminently the witness to Christ. Again, people in the early Church must have made their comparisons. They must have pointed out how Paul went away to the ends of the earth. They must have pointed out how Peter went here and there shepherding his people. And then they may have wondered what the function of John was? John had lived on in Ephesus until he was so old that he was past all activity. Here is the answer: Paul might be the pioneer of Christ, Peter might be the shepherd of Christ, but John was the witness of Christ. John was the man who was able to say: “I saw these things, and I know that they are true.”
To this day the final argument for Christianity is the Christian witness. To this day the Christian is the man who can say: “I know Jesus Christ, and I know that these things are true.” So, at the end, this gospel takes two of the great figures of the Church, Peter and John. To each Jesus had given his function. It was Peter’s to shepherd the sheep of Christ, and in the end to die for him. It was John’s to witness to the story of Christ, and to live to a great old age and to come to the end in peace. That did not make them rivals in honor and prestige, nor make the one greater or less than the other; it made them both servants of Christ.
Let us serve Christ where Christ has set us to be His witness. As Jesus said to Peter: “Never mind the task that is given to someone else. Your job is to follow me.” That is what he still says to each one of us. Our glory is never in comparison with other men; our glory is the service of Christ in whatever capacity he has allotted to us. Just for today have I fully embraced my vocation as God has planned it for me? Do I allow fear or resentment to cloud my day and not prevent me from offering my best? Let us rejoice that the Lord has given us this `today` to do what we can witness to His glory! Christ is Risen and ascended! Truly He is Risen!
Action: Today I will offer witness to the joy of following the Lord in my chosen vocation
(I journal: What phrase touched me today? What is Jesus inviting me to live today? I ask for a specific grace for today.)