"There is no place for selfishness—and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice"--Pope John Paul II
(Gospel text: JN 21:20-25)
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.
Didn’t Peter have a right to wonder what would happen to John? After all, Jesus had asked him to pastor the infant Church, beginning with the apostles. But Jesus gently rebuked Peter. “If I want him to remain until I come, what concern is it of yours?” Only one thing mattered: “You follow me” (John 21:22).
We too are often tempted to wonder about others.
ME: “Lord, what about that man I so often pass begging on the street corner?”
God: “Don’t turn away as if you don’t see him. Know that I love him, and look on him with compassion. Bless him in your heart, and look carefully to see if there’s anything you should do to help.”
Me: “Lord, what about my neighbor, who seems so wounded by his divorce that he has stopped going to Church?”
God: “I have him in the palm of my hand. I understand his pain and anger. His story isn’t finished yet, and I may have a part for you to play. But for now, just stay close to me, and pray for him. When the time comes, you’ll know what to do.”
Me: “Lord, what about my Dad, who has lived such a good life? You may be ready to welcome him into heaven soon, but I don’t want to say good-bye just yet!”
God: “Be at peace. I’m working out my perfect plan for your Dad and for you. Are there things you need to still learn from your Father? Focus your attention there.”
Me: “Lord, your sheep are all so different!”
God: “That’s right. And I love each one in a unique way. Set your heart on loving me, entrust others to me, and I’ll show you the way.”