“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” ― Marcus Aurelius: Roman Emperor 161–180 AD)
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.
“What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”
By Jesus’ response we see that Peter is probably not asking out of idle curiosity, but perhaps trying to compare himself with the beloved disciple; to see whether the beloved disciple is going to get some special treatment or a better prediction of his fate. Have you ever encountered anyone who did the same thing, always checking to see what other people get and how it compares to what they have received? Perhaps you have fallen into the same trap yourselves. I know I have.
Checking to see how much others have and how much we don’t, or trying to determine whether they should be loved by God or not, is not our purpose as disciples.
When we find ourselves asking, “What about him, or her, or them?” Jesus has answered our question by His Cross and the empty tomb: They are beloved by God.
May we share Jesus’ answer with the world.