Today’s readings bring us to the last words of the Acts of the Apostles and of the Gospel of John. The Easter season concludes tomorrow with Pentecost, and the readings prepare us for the next chapter of salvation history: our chapter. When Peter grows suspicious about the beloved disciple in today’s Gospel Our Lord gives him some sound advice: don’t worry about others, focus on following Christ. Peter’s concern is not the considerateness of a charitable outlook that seeks to identify a need someone has and to address it; rather, it’s one of those suspicious glances that can lead to rash judgments about others, unwarranted comparisons that can lead to discouragement or a superiority complex depending on how we (or they) measure up, and gossip.
Rumors had been flying about Jesus’ words to Peter about the beloved disciple and they’d caused such a stir that the author of the Gospel of John had to clarify what Jesus meant. We have to also be on guard against hanging around the rumor mill searching for some tidbit to satisfy our curiosity or to pride ourselves on being “in the know.” Some details about the lives of others are on a need to know basis and Our Lord will tell us if we need to know. We should concentrate on following him, not on how someone else is doing it (or not doing it).
Let’s ask Our Lord today to help close any rumor mills that cross our path, and to focus on following him. Let’s also ask for a prayerful attitude that praises God when we see him blessing others and entreats God’s help when we see others in spiritual difficulty.
Readings: Acts 28:16–20, 30–31; Psalm 11:4–5, 7; John 21:20–25.