Today’s Thoughts: Today we encounter the final verses of John’s Gospel. As we have traveled through the Easter season we have retold the stories of Jesus’ meetings with the disciples after the Resurrection. Drawing on yesterday’s Gospel Jesus helps the disciples catch a large number of fish and in doing so he gets their attention after which they gather to have a little breakfast. Having nourished themselves Jesus then challenges Peter three times with the question “Do you love me?” What we read today is the final call of Peter.
In the early part of John’s Gospel, Jesus, is followed by two of John the Baptist’s disciples. In the story, Jesus turns and asks the two men perhaps a most important question, “What are you seeking?” The two men reply by asking Jesus where he is staying. Jesus extends the invitation to, “Come and see.” Jesus does not say, “Come and find out.” Jesus simply invites them as he will invite others and all of us for that matter, to come, to see and so believe. This is Jesus’ ongoing invitation, the challenge of being people of faith throughout our journey of life. In John’s Gospel, believing is seeing the “signs” so that believing beyond “signs” will be what it means “to follow”.
So, John ends his Gospel with Peter’s having seen enough “signs” including the large catch of fish after catching nothing, during the night. Perhaps when looking back at the disciple who Jesus loved, Peter is asking for another “sign”, a companion whom Peter could trust for support. Jesus indicates that this disciple has his own calling as does Peter, as do all of us. Peter’s calling is to trust in his friendship with Jesus throughout the rest of the story, the end of which Peter does not know.
These final verses are a summary reflection of all that Jesus has done throughout his ministry. It is a summary of all the “signs” that are there to be seen and all who can see the “signs” are no longer blind, they believe, they have faith, because of having seen, because they have encountered Christ. As John says there were many events in the life of Jesus, but those that have been written down are just the right amount for Peter and any reader of the Gospel.
With the coming of the Spirit we are given the gift of faith which is a variety of vision by which we look for and receive “signs” of the presence of Jesus and of his calling us to follow into the unknown of our tomorrows. We, like Peter, will always want assurances, companions, and more “signs” to make believing a little bit easier. God gives us just the right amount of what’s good for our own response.
Have a great Saturday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...