Saturday - Easter Time
1) Opening prayer
Lord our God,
like Mary, the women and the apostles
on the day before the first Pentecost
we are gathered in prayer.
Let the Holy Spirit come down also on us,
that we may become enthusiastic believers
and faithful witnesses to the person
and the good news of Jesus.
May our way of living bear witness
that Jesus is our light and life,
now and for ever.
2) Gospel Reading - John 21,20-25
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved
following them -- the one who had leant back close to his chest at the supper
and had said to him, 'Lord, who is it that will betray you?' Seeing him, Peter
said to Jesus, 'What about him, Lord?' Jesus answered, 'If I want him to stay
behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.' The
rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet
Jesus had not said to Peter, 'He will not die,' but, 'If I want him to stay
behind till I come.' This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and
has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true. There was much
else that Jesus did; if it were written down in detail, I do not suppose the
world itself would hold all the books that would be written.
• Today’s Gospel
begins with the question of Peter: Lord, what about him? Jesus begins to
speak with Peter, announcing the destiny or type of death by which Peter will
glorify God. And at the end Jesus adds: Follow me. (Jn 21, 19).
• John 21,
20-21: Peter’s question concerning John’s destiny. At this moment, Peter turned
back and saw the Disciple whom Jesus loved and asks: “Lord, what about him?” Jesus
had just indicated the destiny of Peter and now Peter wants to know from Jesus
which is the destiny of this other disciple. It is a curiosity which does not
deserve an adequate response from Jesus.
• John 21, 22: The
mysterious response of Jesus. Jesus says: If I want him to stay behind
till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.” A
mysterious phrase which ends again with the same affirmation as before: Follow
me! Jesus seems to want to stop Peter’s curiosity. Just as each one of us
has his/her own history, in the same way each one of us has his/her own way of
following Jesus. Nobody is the exact copy of another person. Each one of us
should be creative in following Jesus.
• John 21, 23: The
Evangelist clarifies the sense of the response of Jesus. Ancient tradition
identifies the Beloved Disciple with the Apostle John and says that he died
very old, when he was almost one hundred years old. Putting together the old
age of John with the mysterious response of Jesus, the Evangelist clarifies
things saying: “The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple
would not die. Yet, Jesus had not said to Peter: He will not die, but: If I
want him to stay behind till I come; what does that matter to you?” Perhaps, it
is a warning to be very attentive to the interpretation of the words of Jesus
and not base oneself in any rumour.
• John 21, 24: Witness
of the value of the Gospel. Chapter 21 is an added appendix when the final
redaction of the Gospel was made. Chapter 20 ends with this phrase: “There
were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of his disciples, but they
are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that
Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing this you may have life
through his name.” (Jn 20, 30-31). The Book was ready but there were many
other facts about Jesus. This is why, on the occasion of the definitive edition
of the Gospel, some of these “many facts” about Jesus were chosen and added,
very probably to clarify better the new problems of the end of the first
century. We do not know who wrote the definitive redaction with the appendix,
but we know it was someone of the community who could be trusted, because he
writes: “This is the disciple who vouches for these things and has
written them down and we know that his testimony is true”.
• John 21, 25: The
mystery of Jesus is inexhaustible. A beautiful phrase to conclude the
Gospel of John: “There was much else that Jesus did; if it were written down
in detail, I do not suppose the world itself would hold all the books that
would be written”. It seems an exaggeration, but it is the truth. Never
will anyone be capable of writing all the things that Jesus has done and
continues to do in the life of persons who up until now follow Jesus!
• Is there
something in your life which Jesus has done and which could be added to this
book which will never be written?
• Peter is very
concerned about the other disciple and forgets to carry on and live his own “Follow
me”. Does this also happen to you?
5) Concluding Prayer
Yahweh in his
throne is in heaven;
his eyes watch
over the world,
scrutinises the children of Adam. (Ps 11,4)