"Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper." (From Saturday's Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday: We are "the beloved disciple"!
By Graciela Ramos
In this Saturday’s Gospel reading, John proclaims himself, "the disciple whom Jesus loved." He knew himself deeply loved by God, and it is this security in God’s love which allows John to be a faithful witness - a witness who, no matter what happens, will be firm in his convictions, in his beliefs, in his actions according to the Truth.
How did John know that Jesus loved him? Did they talk alone when Jesus showed his affection as a friend, as a brother? Was there any special sign performed by Jesus which showed John how much Jesus loved him? No, nothing special. But, yes! Everything Jesus did told John of his great love, not only for him, but for all the people around him!
Because John opened his whole being to the Holy Spirit, he could see in all Jesus’ gestures the great love he has for each and every one of us. John could see Jesus’ great love in the dead he raised, the paralyzed he made walk, the deaf he made hear, the blind he made see. He could recognize Jesus’ great love in his heartfelt tears for his friend Lazarus, in his gentle washing of the apostles’ feet, and in countless other ways that, as he himself said at the end of his Gospel, "the whole world wouldn’t be able to hold the books that could be written."
Through a reprimand from Jesus, John learned not to worry about the future when he and his brother disputed the places in heaven. By watching an encounter between Jesus and Peter, John learned not to let curiosity about others overshadow Jesus’ message (John 21:20). John learned to pay close attention to the true words of Jesus, so that he could correct those who distorted his words (John 21:23). It was the love of Jesus "to the end" that conquered John, inspired him to fall in love, and compelled him to follow Jesus to the Cross.
How important it is to feel loved! Only then can we follow our Master. Only by feeling his deep love for us “to the end” will we be able to make the signs that he made “and even greater” (John 14:12). God is anxious to show us his love, and it is the Holy Spirit who is in charge of doing this. It is the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus from the Father, who will fill our being with the peace that the world cannot give but cannot take away, the peace and love that only Jesus can give us.
Who is Jesus for you?
“Who do you say that I am?” This question in Matt. 16:13-23 is what Jesus asks each of us. We especially need to answer this whenever our relationship with him needs to improve. Oh, isn’t that everyday?
This reflection, Who is Jesus for you?, contains a spiritual exercise. You can find healing and renewal in your friendship with him by meditating on the different names for Jesus or attributes of his nature. Meditate on a different one each day, and dig deep to find out whether or not you really believe it’s true.
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