In today’s Gospel, the conclusion of St. John’s Gospel, as Peter is walking with Jesus, Peter turns and sees John following them. Peter asks, “Lord, what about him?” and Jesus answers, with what I imagine to have been a rebuking tone, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”
Although it is easy for us to chide Peter – he does, after all, seem to blow it time and time again during Jesus’ time on earth – he is not really all that different from us. We so often spend time worrying about the other guy. What is someone else getting? Even when we are getting what we want or need, we’re peering over, checking to see if someone else is getting more. Does he have a better place in line than I do? Is her piece of cake larger than mine?
We do it with spiritual things as well, possessing a kind of spiritual envy or jeolousy. Is someone else’s prayer better than my prayer? Are they further along the spiritual path than I am? Is their relationship with God closer than my relationship with God?
Jesus’ response to Peter is the response to all of us: That’s not your business. You follow me; that’s your business. It is not for you to worry about what the other person is getting from me. Look to our relationship.