The good news for the day, June 3, 2017
Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter (302)
Peter turned around and saw a disciple, the one following, the one whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper. He it was who asked, “Sir, who is the one who will betray you?” Now, when Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Sir, what about him?” Jesus replied, “What if I want him to remain until I come back? So what—what concern is it of yours? Your concern is to follow me.” Because of this, word spread in the community that that particular disciple was not going to die. But Jesus had not told anyone that he would not die—just “What if I want him to remain until I come? What business is it of yours?” (It is in fact this very disciple who is sharing 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 could contain the books that would be written. (John 21)
These words conclude the Gospel “According to John.” The unnamed “beloved disciple” will always be a mystery, and perhaps that is the point—the author or authors (notice the “we”)—want to keep this individual unnamed because he is THE follower of Jesus—you and me and he and she and they.
You wait his coming, you live in expectation, you open your eyes, mind, heart and soul “remaining ready.” You look with kindness and forgiveness (as Jesus did Peter); you keep following the mystery of Jesus—remaining, waiting, patient, growing in acceptance of being a part of the Family of God.
You have felt close to Jesus, and seen him go away—and felt Him return. Notice that in this Gospel, there is no Ascension, no Departure into the sky, because in this view, Jesus lives on—showing up unexpectedly (“the doors being locked”) and preaching peace, forgiveness—and the reality of His Person being Alive—being with us. You—the Beloved Disciple—represent everyone—not dying, but being so, so alive to His Wounded Presence in each other. Prepared for people despising you, misunderstanding you—you welcome the truth and grow by it.