You Follow Me
Author: Father Paul Campbell, LC | Source: Catholic.net
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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you and all that you have revealed for our salvation. I hope in you because of your overflowing mercy. Every single act of yours on this earth demonstrated your love for us. Your ascent into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my hope of one day joining you there. I love you and wish you to be the center of my life.
Petition: Lord, increase my faith, hope and love.
1. The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved: Peter is walking with Jesus along the shore where Jesus has just foretold his future martyrdom. He turns to ask Jesus about John, who was following them. Throughout his Gospel, John designates himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. It is as if the most striking point of John’s life and experience with Christ was that Jesus loved him. It became his identity. How often do I reflect on Christ’s love for me? How often do I cherish it?
2. What About Him? Jesus responds to Peter’s question with a question of his own. What concern is it of yours what happens to John? Christ’s relationship with his disciples is deeply personal. Each has a mission to complete in life. We can get distracted thinking about and comparing ourselves to others, or whether they may or may not be following Christ. However, these comparisons with others (or their gifts, or their mission) can frequently be a sign of our pride. We have our own mission to fulfill, and no one can take our place. We need to concentrate instead on that part of our mission which is still ahead of us, yet to be fulfilled.
3. We Know That His Testimony Is True: John is a witness to all that has taken place in his Gospel. His testimony was entrusted to a community of believers and has come down to us under the guarantee of the Church. The Gospel presents us with what Jesus actually said and did. We need to hold fast to our faith in the Gospel and not get sidetracked by modern interpretations that cast doubt on everything. When we read the scriptures, we hear God’s voice. Do I read them with such faith?
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for the testimony of your life that I find in the Gospel. Increase my faith. Help me to read the Scriptures and meditate on them with greater fervor. I know that you want to speak to me through them. Help me to follow you today.
Resolution: Today I will help another person read a passage of the Gospel prayerfully.