We hear the end of John’s Gospel in today’s Mass. After Jesus’s colloquy with Peter on the beach, which ends with Jesus telling Peter, “Follow Me,” Jesus and Peter start to walk off. Today’s Gospel picks up with Peter turning and noticing John. “What about him?”, Peter asks. Jesus answer is simple: “What concern of it is yours? You follow me.” There are several ways we might understand the end of this scene. Here is what struck me about it when I read the words this morning.
How many times do we look around at others to see what they have or what they get to do?
That is a rhetorical question: We do it quite a lot in different forms. He or she had a better job than I do. He or she has something I don’t have. Or even – I want to be the only one with this person, why is someone else around.
It think the comparative tendency operates with respect to spirituality and discipleship as easily as it does in other aspects of our lives. There is a part of us that wants to be special. (This is a particular tendency for 4’s on the Enneagram, but is by no means limited to them.) I can feel Peter wanting to pull Jesus along so that the two of them are alone together.
You have one job, Jesus says. Follow me. Do what I have called you do to. Don’t worry about what I’ve asked someone else to do. Be faithful to my call. Period.