Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Sun.April 18. Lectionary #49. Acts 5:27-32,40b-41. Psalm
30:2,4,5-6,11-12,13. Rev. 5:11-14. John 21:1-19:
Chapter 21 of John’s Gospel is added to what was described as the purpose
of the first twenty chapters: that all may be led to believe that Jesus is
the Christ, the Son of God, in order that we may have life in his name.
The following chapter is definitely the work of another redactor who
completes the Gospel with the appearance of Jesus to seven disciples
(apostles) and then focus on two who not only ran to the tomb together but
we also be running and proclaiming who Jesus is in the opening chapters of
the Acts of the Apostles. The first great figure is Peter and Jesus
dialogues with him and asks him questions; the second is the Beloved
Disciple whose in the last person to be mentioned in the Fourth Gospel. In
our tradtion we associate the Apostle John with the Beloved Disciple though
this cannot be asserted through the historical critical method of the
exegetes. The name John is certainly given to the Gospel and the best name
that we can summon forth from what we know from the rest of the chapters.
Whether this is really the person behind the Gospel or not is not a
question of faith but really more of opinion from scholars who normally
have different opinions among themselves!
So we may divide the final chapter into the following three divisions:
First, Jesus appears on the shore to the seven who are in the boat.
Secondly, Jesus and Peter speak to one another with Jesus leading the way
with his questions about whether Peter really loves the Lord. And thirdly,
we have Jesus and the Beloved Disciple who is spoken of as a witness of the
truths found in the Fourth Gospel. This beautiful chapter fits in well
with this season of Easter where we too hope to experience the Risen Christ
as did the seven and as Peter and John experienced him.
Let us attempt to see ourselves in this chapter in the person of all of
those who are mentioned whether we be at work within our office or our
ministry or whether we like Peter need to settle something with the Lord or
like the Beloved Disciple who is the witness for the truths and words of
Jesus in this profound theological Gospel.
Jesus will lead us into answering his question, “Do you love me?” He will
ask it three times of Peter and probably has asked it of us many more
times. Do we even hear the question? Then we are to be today’s witnesses
to the Gospel and to Jesus just as the Beloved Disciple was. This Easter
is the best time for appreciating, reviewing, and thanking God for asking
us the same question he did of Peter and for our witnessing to what it
means to be a disciple of the Lord. Amen. Alleuluia.