“Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved… he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remains until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!’” (John 21:20-22)
Having been told of his fate, Peter wanted to know if this would be the case for others. Looking and seeing John, Peter asked Jesus: “What about this man?” Sometimes, we behave like Peter; we compare and contrast with others as though life is a competition. Jesus answered: “Even if I say he will remain till I come, what is that to you? Just follow me.”
God calls us individually to different tasks. Just as our gifts and abilities are different, our sufferings for the sake of God are never the same. Sometimes we would wonder if God is partial but all that matters is that we follow Jesus.
You may be thinking someone else is carrying a lighter cross but unless you are that person, you will never see the full picture. St. Paul encourages us to mind our business and avoid being busybodies (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12).
Our first reading tells us how Paul arrived in Rome and continued the work of evangelisation there. Paul and Peter had different gifts, they both worked to spread the Gospel but their crosses were different; they did not suffer the same faith. In the end, all we know is that great things happened through them.
Finally, as John reports, the Bible does not contain everything Jesus did and said. “Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
This statement perfectly introduces us to tomorrow’s Feast of Pentecost. Since the Bible does not exhaust all that Christ said and did, there is only one way we can know the full story – through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told us, “But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me” (John 15:26).
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit and enkindle in us your Sacred Fire. Amen. Bible Study: Acts 28:16-31, Psalm 11 and John 21:20-25).