Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
The moment of the diaspora
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?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” 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?)” It is this disciple who testifies to 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 would contain the books that would be written. Jn 21,20-25
Peter had a real fondness for John, who, among the apostles, was the youngest, the baby of the company. We meet them together often enough in the gospels: they had come together even to the tomb, after having received from Mary Magdalene the announcement of the resurrection. Jesus had just asked to Peter three times: “Do you love me?” and he had received by the same times the answer: “I love you”, after which he had confirmed him as the leader of the church, a role which was designed for Peter since long time. Peter, then, who certainly had supposed his future together with John, asked to Jesus: “Lord, what about him?”. This is the time of the separation, because the Lord conceives two different apostolic projects for them. It is a situation which we experienced when we had to separate from father Tomaso, father Raniero, father Fausto, father Vittorio, don Patrizio, sister Maria Francesca, Oliviero Gulot, Giovanni Martini, Cecilia Cortese and many others with whom we had made a long journey of faith together. It is the time of the mission, everyone has to do his own which has been entrusted to him. However, when the faith in the Lord has been shared for a long time, we remain brothers in the faith forever. It happens sometime that we meet, a bit older and with some ailment, but it is as if we had separated the day before. However, it is only a temporary diaspora, because our fate is to sit together in the communion of the saints for the eternity. When we meet it is nice to narrate each other what the Lord has made of our lives since the last time we met. We have so many things to relate that perhaps we could also point out what John says today at the end of his gospel: “If these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole word would contain the books that would be written”.