May 10, 2008
Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
John 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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, increase my faith. I place my trust in your loving care. The disciples followed you and, as your disciple, I want to follow in their footsteps. I know that you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Petition: Jesus, keep my eyes fixed on you. Help me to recognize your loving presence throughout the day.
1. Only One Thing Is Necessary In today’s Gospel, Peter is walking with Jesus but turns around and takes his eyes off of his Master. Jesus sees him turn around, but more importantly, he takes note of the concern in Peter’s heart. He asks Peter: “What concern is it of yours?” He wants to keep Peter’s attention, but most of all he wants Peter’s heart to find rest and to be at peace. How many times in the Gospel do we find our Lord telling his disciples, “Be not afraid”? God has a loving plan for each one of us. Making comparisons between ourselves and others is often the way to anxiety and restlessness. Keeping the example of Christ in our minds and hearts during the day allows us to remain focused on the truly important things.
2. The Faithful Follower The Last Supper was still vividly in the minds of the apostles. That night he had given them his own Body and Blood for their nourishment. The Eucharist is the proof of Jesus’ desire to be with us always. The beloved disciple, St. John, recognized what a great act of generosity this was and was determined to repay Jesus. He had followed him during his trial and was present while Jesus was being crucified. Today in the Gospel we again see John following the Lord. He was determined not to let Jesus leave his sight. He teaches us that a true follower of Jesus never leaves his side.
3. Shaping the Future As St. John tells us, Jesus did many things that were not recorded in the Gospels. There are many things that Jesus still wants to do in the world. All he needs is our cooperation to make them happen. With the help of God’s grace we can shape the future. We are the ones who will make his presence felt, because he lives in us through his grace. God is the author of my life, and the book will only be written properly by recognizing that I owe everything to him.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I often get distracted because I place more importance on others than on you. Nevertheless, you are merciful and you always lead me back to green pastures where I find rest in you. I lack nothing because you are my shepherd.
Resolution: I will take a few minutes at the end of the day to examine how closely I have followed Christ today in thought and in deed.
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