Saturday of the 7th Week of Easter

John 21:20-25

The Beloved Disciple

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from 365 Days with the Lord

GOSPEL:

PETER turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during 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? You follow Me.” So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? [What concern is it of yours?]”

It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.

REFLECTION:

2007 Today’s gospel reading contains the very last verses of John’s gospel. This gospel ends by predicting the different fates of both Peter and John. That of Peter was presented in yesterday’s gospel reading. There Jesus predicted that Peter would die a martyr’s death. And Peter did suffer martyrdom in Rome some 30 years later, namely between the years 64 and 67 AD. As for John, he died a natural death at an advanced old age sometime between 90 and 100 AD. Because he lived on to be so old, many Christians believed that he would not die before the Parousia or return of Christ at the end of the world. This belief was based on Jesus’ mysterious words to Peter, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow Me.” These words, the evangelist explains, were not at all a promise. The Christians who understood it that way were mistaken. Jesus had only said, “Suppose that…” He was only telling Peter to mind his own business. In other words, Jesus saw in Peter’s question about John’s fate not so much fraternal concern as idle curiosity.

When we read the works of the great masters of spiritual life (Cassian, Benedict, Bernard, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, Lallemant, de Caussade, Grou, Thérèse of Lisieux, Marmion, and others), we often come across the recommendation to mind our own business. Why? Because too often we meddle in other people’s life out of sheer curiosity. This in turn leads to harsh inner judgments, which in turn lead to gossip, slander, division, and so on. Naturally, minding my own business does not mean that I stop being concerned about the welfare of my brothers and sisters. It means that I refrain from giving in to my natural impulse to know everything that is going on. A serious follower of Jesus has better things to do. My concern should rather focus on myself: How can I be a more faithful disciple of Jesus?

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

2008 Both of our readings for today, the last day of the Easter season, are epilogues of the two books we’ve been reading most during this Easter season: Luke’s Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of John.

In our Gospel reading, Peter’s question about the Beloved Disciple, John, derives from a saying going around that the Beloved Disciple wasn’t going to die. The misunderstanding is answered by Jesus (v. 22) and by the narrator (vv. 23f ).

The question shows again the intimate association of Peter and John. Just as John had questioned Jesus at the Last Supper to satisfy the curiosity of Peter, so Peter questions Jesus here about the welfare of John. Jesus’ answer was, in brief, that John’s destiny was none of Peter’s business.

The very last verse of John’s Gospel, about the many other things that Jesus did which the whole world wouldn’t be able to contain (which may have been added by another hand), indicates that John, like the other evangelists, selected only those signs about Jesus that were suited to His purpose in writing. John wrote to show that Jesus was God, that God is love, and that to His followers Jesus offers divine life.

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

2009 Many other things: The concluding words of John’s gospel actually comprise the second ending. These were probably added by the redactor; the evangelist made his conclusion earlier, noting the purpose of the book (Jn 20:31).
People tend to see the gospels as books of history or biographies of Jesus. When they meet problems with the historical or chronological facts or with the comparison of the different gospels, they find it difficult to accept that these are inspired Word of God. But the gospels are not biographies as we understand biographies today. They are proclamations of the faith in Jesus, which include, among others, what Jesus said and did. They are documents of faith, with the purpose of leading people who read them to deeper faith in Christ. John expresses this clearly: “These are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name” (Jn 20:31). When the fourth gospel was finally put in writing, about sixty or seventy years have passed since Jesus preached the Good News. The stories about Jesus and his words were remembered, passed on, transformed by reflection, and lived—before they were put in writing. It is very possible that many words and deeds of Jesus were not remembered at all. But in God’s design, what was kept and passed on for future generations is enough for our life of faith.

2010 THE WORD SPREAD AMONG THE BROTHERS

Scholars believe that the Fourth Gospel possibly ended with chapter 20. The supplementary chapter 21 probably came from another collection of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus and was added by the final redactor to the work of the evangelist. The story represents a Galilean tradition of the appearance of Jesus and involves three characters: the Seven (disciples) as a group, and then Simon Peter and the Beloved Disciple individually.
The ever-rash Peter (even after his moving reconciliation with Jesus) questions Jesus about the fate of the Beloved Disciple, and Jesus replies with an enigmatic saying, “What if I want him to remain until I come?” It could have been not much more than a “None of your business” reply to Simon, but in the Johannine community, it was misunderstood by some as a prediction that the Disciple would still be living until the second coming of Jesus (in the early Church, there was widespread belief in the imminence of the parousia). With the death of the Beloved Disciple, the faith of some Johannine Christians would have been shaken. This incident is narrated to clarify the difficulty and strengthen the Christians after the demise of their hero.

2012 What concern is it of yours? We are all followers and servants of Jesus. But we can differ in the ways of following and serving Jesus and of bearing witness to him. Peter followed Jesus till his own crucifixion. The beloved disciple followed Jesus by witnessing to the life story of Jesus and giving us the Fourth Gospel.

We can serve God in ways most suited to our situation, in any place, in any assignment, in whatever capacity, and to whomever Jesus has sent us. Hence, let us not compare our sanctity with that of others. Let us not question the spiritual affairs of other people. As servants of Jesus, we are not competitors in holiness or rivals for honor and position in the Church. Let us serve him to the best of our ability and to the utmost of our capacity.

No words suffice to describe the life-giving works of Jesus or the richness of his life. But Jesus makes himself always available for us. He does not leave us alone. He is here with us. He continues to touch and change our life, to make us feel his love and healing presence.

Do you feel the presence of Jesus? Have you not been touched by his love?

Source: ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/1810-may-26-2012

2013 It is this disciple who testifies. This is the second conclusion of John’s gospel. And it contains a sort of signature and description of the author as a truthful witness. This witness is a disciple whom Jesus loved.

Now, at the end of this gospel, we, readers, disciples of Jesus whom he loves, are also challenged to give true and truthful testimony to Jesus. It is our living testimony more than books that will draw people to Jesus.

Many people cannot read books, but they can read the book that is our lives even if they are illiterate. Let us appear before the world as people loved by Jesus and ready to give testimony to him by our lives, deeds, and words.

Do you give testimony to Jesus by your life?

Source: graceandspace.org/welcome/home/365-days-with-the-lord/1719-the-beloved-disciple-.html

2016 Today’s gospel reading contains the very last verses of John’s gospel. This gospel ends by predicting the different fates of both Peter and John. That of Peter was presented in yesterday’s gospel reading. There Jesus predicted that Peter would die a martyr’s death. And Peter did suffer martyrdom in Rome some 30 years later, namely between the years 64 and 67 AD. As for John, he died a natural death at an advanced old age sometime between 90 and 100 AD. Because he lived on to be so old, many Christians believed that he would not die before the Parousia or return of Christ at the end of the world. This belief was based on Jesus’ mysterious words to Peter, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow Me.” These words, the evangelist explains, were not at all a promise. The Christians who understood it that way were mistaken. Jesus had only said, “Suppose that…” He was only telling Peter to mind his own business. In other words, Jesus saw in Peter’s question about John’s fate not so much fraternal concern as idle curiosity.

When we read the works of the great masters of spiritual life (Cassian, Benedict, Bernard, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, Lallemant, de Caussade, Grou, Thérèse of Lisieux, Marmion, and others), we often come across the recommendation to mind our own business. Why? Because too often we meddle in other people’s life out of sheer curiosity. This in turn leads to harsh inner judgments, which in turn lead to gossip, slander, division, and so on. Naturally, minding my own business does not mean that I stop being concerned about the welfare of my brothers and sisters. It means that I refrain from giving in to my natural impulse to know everything that is going on. A serious follower of Jesus has better things to do. My concern should rather focus on myself: How can I be a more faithful disciple of Jesus?

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328

2018 What about him?

Peter asks this of Jesus about the disciple whom he loves, the one who reclined upon his chest at the Last Supper.

(We identify him as the apostle John.) How about John? Will he have the same destiny? Is John also called to follow him, to die like him?

Jesus seems irritated. He answers Peter, “What is that to you?” Then he asks a hypothetical question, “What if…” that courts a misinterpretation from the disciples themselves.

Sometimes our questing minds reveal our feelings of being treated as special or being singled out to do something and then left all alone. We want someone to accompany us in our journey.

This seems to be the concern of Peter. Is he the only one who will be crucified like Jesus? Tradition says yes. This John will not be crucified, but he will die as a witness to Jesus, too.

Towards the end of the passage, the author who is identified as John the Evangelist breaks in and authenticates the stories he has written so far. He recognizes the limitations of his pen and writing materials to recount the story of Jesus. Those who want to know more must rest content with what he offers as a writer. He cannot be writing accounts of Jesus forever.

* * *

John has given us his story of Jesus.

Perhaps, we can write ours to continue the story.

* * *

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

tempo.com.ph/2018/05/19/the-beloved-disciple/

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to Other Homily Sources

Back to: Saturday of the 7th Week of Easter

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