“Being animated by the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit, so that we too may be Christ’s faithful and dynamic witnesses… and like St Peter and St John – and St Paul – become “special students” of our Great Teacher, Jesus!”
(Based on Acts 28:16-20, 30-31 and Jn 21:20-25)
The experience of teachers in a school with the students is pretty interesting.
Each student is unique in their character and nature.
The relationship with each student is also unique
… some students tend to be more in the limelight… due to their high vibrancy and level of enthusiasm
… some students remain in the shadows… due to their soft and timid nature
But the teacher shares a unique relationship with all..
… with some more close, with some just normal, with some just casual
Sometimes the most naughty one, or the mischievous one gets special attention
Sometimes, the most silent one gets a special favour of affection and care
The Greatest Teacher, Jesus also had his class of students… his chosen twelve.. the Apostles.
He shared a unique relationship with all of them, undoubtedly.
Yet, among the twelve, there were some with whom Jesus had a special bonding
One among them was very vocal, emotional and actively in the limelight…
The other was more silent, affectionate and passively in the backgrounds…
The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus, the teacher in conversation with these two of His students, with whom He had a special bonding – Peter and John.
Peter was the one, very vocal, emotional and being active in the limelight…
John was the more silent, affectionate and remained passively in the backgrounds…
We are the end of the Gospel of St John.
Jesus had engaged Peter in a one-to-one conversation reviving His commitment to Him and the Kingdom by asking him, three times, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was also entrusted to be the Shepherd of His Church on the earth
However, Peter was also curious what would be the future of the other disciple.
His curiosity is a common human trait: a keen desire to know the future and the prospects of other people.
Sometimes this trait can also degenerate into jealousy…
Sometimes this trait can also be reduced to envy…
- In the parable of the workers in the vineyard… those who came at the end received the same one denarii as the first.
The complaint of those who toiled the whole day was not just that they received a less pay; but more so, that why did the last ones…
… get a higher pay!
The generosity towards the others, made them to feel envious
- In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the prodigal son was given a grand reception on his arrival back.
The complaint of the elder son was not just that he never had enjoyed a luxurious time with his friends; but more so, that the younger sin who had committed many sins…
… was given a special welcome.
The generosity towards the younger son, made him to feel jealous.
Realizing the possibility of this common human trait, Jesus chides Peter who was over-curious to know of the future of John; instead He re-focusses Peter’s attention on what is most important: Following Him.
Therefore Jesus tells to Peter: “What concern is it of yours? You follow me” (Jn 21: 22)
The same advice is rendered to us also…
We sometimes tend to be too anxious about the life of the other…
… but fail to have a proper control in our personal lives!
We sometimes tend to be over-curious about the future of others…
… but fail to live our lives worthily!
The Lord advises us the same too, “You follow me!”
The two special students of Jesus, the teacher – Peter and John – is also a reminder of two ways or levels of Christian holiness…
The Life of Peter… lived in witness to Christ by a life of martyrdom
The Life of John… lived in witness to Christ by a life of loving sacrifices in life
Each one of us are to…
… live in holiness, filled with love, like St John
… live in commitment, willing to give up even our lives, like St Peter
The first reading of the Liturgy also points us to the Life of St Paul…
… a zealous and valiant missionary, who offered his life in total commitment to the Kingdom
St Paul dwells in Rome – considered from St Luke’s perspective as the end of the earth (signifying that the Gospel has moved from Jerusalem, the centre to Rome, the end of the earth!)
“And Paul lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered!”
On the eve of the Great Feast of the Pentecost, let us prepare our hearts to receive the fire of the Holy Spirit.
We seek the special intercession of our Blessed Mother – the Queen of the Apostles – on her Feast Day…
… that She Who interceded with the Apostles, may intercede for us also, for the Mighty Gift of the Holy Spirit!
May we be animated and constantly live in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, so that we too may be Christ’s faithful and dynamic witnesses…
… and like St Peter and St John – and St Paul – become “special students” of our Great Teacher, Jesus!
Happy Feast of Mary, Queen of the Apostles!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Be what you are…