You are a disciple

Friends in the Lord, yesterday’s gospel showed us that Jesus predicted Peter’s death. He said that the would ‘stretch out his arms’ – he would be crucified. Today we see Peter’s reaction to this news. He sees St. John and asks about him. ‘What about him?,’ asks Peter. ‘What will happen to him?’ Jesus tells him, ‘Don’t worry about him, what does that have to do with you?’
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As we know, Peter was indeed crucified, perhaps around the year 65AD.  And St. John lived to be very old, he may have still been alive around the year 100. In the previous sentences, Jesus told Peter three times, that he was to ‘feed his sheep.’ His job would be to be the shepherd of the people.
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Here we see that John had a different mission. He was supposed to be a witness for Christ – a living example, an eyewitness to everything, who could keep living a long time to share the faith with the early Church. And John will write about this in his Epistle: ‘I testify to that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched.’
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St. John therefore is really a ‘type’ or a symbol for every Christian today. William Barclay will say that the case to be made for the faith, the primary argument for Christianity, is the life of each Christian lived out. We must say with our life and sometimes by our words, ‘I have known Jesus Christ. I know that these things are true.’
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Peter was to be the great shepherd, the first Pope, and die a martyr. John’s role was to witness to the story of Christ, and to live to a great old age, telling this story, of what he had seen and touched.
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Each person in the Church has a role. Mothers, Fathers, teachers, priests; single and young and old and simple or brilliant – each is to serve Christ where Christ has put him.
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Peter was so worried about what John’s task would be: ‘What about him Lord?’ ‘Never mind the task that is given to someone else, your job is to follow me.’  Our glory is to serve Jesus Christ wherever he has put us.

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