A reading from the gospel according to John 21:20-25:
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?”
21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”
23 So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die.
But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?”
24 It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.
Reflection: What concern is it of yours?
Peter and John are the closest apostles of Jesus. They are also close to one another. Now that Jesus has intimately revealed to Peter what is in store for him, it is but human nature for Peter to pry on what future lies for his friend John. Jesus’ answer looks like a rebuke. The “what if” became the talk of the town even today but our reflection will dwell on the next sentence.
What concern is it of yours? Of course to be concerned about others is an extension of our love for them. Yet many times our concern borders on shallow interest and often extended to gossip. Worse, what seems to be a concern is actually jealousy or even arrogance. Why is my friend more blessed than I am? Sometimes we feel better because we are closer to the boss than others and so we become bossy ourselves.
In our gospel above, Jesus tells Peter to just follow Him and in following Him, he needs to focus on the particular mission given to him. The enemy knows well to distract us by making us become too concerned for others.
Each one of us has a mission that no one else will do and there is enough work to do in the vineyard of the Lord. Jealousy and arrogance will only delay and even set back the completion of our work. Peter is to become the leader while John will be an evangelist. Some of us will be preachers while others will become contemplatives. Still others will do the dirty work of cleaning the kitchen and more. Indeed, if each one of us will mind his or her own business and cooperate rather than compete, there will be less infighting and peace will be achieved.