Easter 7th Week, Saturday, May 30

Acts 28:16-20, 30-31 / John 21:20-25 
Jesus instructs Peter: “Follow me!”:

The city of Rome was under serious siege in 1849. The great Italian patriot Garibaldi issued a public proclamation to the young men of Italy: “I have nothing to offer you but hunger and thirst, hardship and death; but I call on all who love their country to join me.” The response was beyond belief. It was this kind of challenge that Jesus held out to his apostles. It was this kind of challenge that Jesus repeated to Peter in today’s gospel. It is this same challenge that Jesus repeats to each one of us today.

Have we accepted Jesus’ challenge fully? How might we still be holding back? “Our chief want in life is someone who shall make us do what we can.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is of the general opinion that the disciple that Jesus loved is identified as John the apostle, and the fourth gospel is ascribed to him. It is also of the general opinion that John lived to an old age whereas the other apostles were martyred.

Maybe that is why the gospel of John is so different from the other three "synoptic" gospels. The other three gospels have more historical facts and stories. The gospel of John has more of a mystical perspective. And as he closes his gospel account, he states that after all that is written, he is just a witness for Christ and what he had written was his testimony. His other contemporaries had different tasks - St. Peter was the shepherd for Christ; St. Paul was the missionary for Christ; St. John was the witness for Christ.

And where the gospel of Christ ends off, our gospel begins, the gospel of our lives as witnesses of Christ.

It is in that gospel, that the eternal truth of Jesus will be passed down to the future generations. So St. John, St. Peter and St. Paul are done with their tasks and fulfilled their missions. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we will pick up for where they left and continue the mission of witnessing and serving Christ.
Saturday of 7th Week of Easter 

The books that have been our main companions throughout the Easter Season end with the committed, enthusiastic witness to the Good News of Jesus: Paul in his captivity, and Peter, whose martyrdom is predicted, and John, the beloved apostle, who has given a true testimony of Jesus in his Gospel. What is the witness we can give to Jesus? Does our way of life show that we believe in him and love him? 

Opening Prayer 
Lord, our God, like Mary, the women and the apostles on the day before the first Pentecost, we are gathered in prayer. Let the Holy Spirit come down also upon us, that we may become enthusiastic believers and faithful witnesses to the person and the Good News of Jesus. May our way of living bear witness that Jesus is our light and life, now and forever.

In the readings today we come to the end of the earliest Christian era. Paul, now under house arrest at Rome, is still sharing the good news of Jesus with members of the Jewish community. The disciple whom Jesus loved in the fourth Gospel is here identified as the author of the Gospel itself. Confusion had arisen as to the length of his life with some believing that he would not die before the return of Christ. But, as the narrative is at pains to explain, Jesus had not said that such would be the case. This apologetic note would seem to point to the fact that the beloved disciple had already died. With the end of the apostolic age, we realize that the essentials of this definitive entrance of God in history are now in place. And those essentials remain with us today. Their very antiquity is a source of inspiration. In establishing the canon of inspired books, the church has brought us into contact with the authentic beginnings of the Christian faith. St. Jerome said, “To be ignorant of the Scriptures is to be ignorant of Christ.” One of the main objectives of the liturgy, as well as of this book, is to encourage us to take up the Scriptures. It is an enterprise that will not disappoint; we are drawn into inexhaustible spiritual riches. The author of the fourth Gospel reminds us today that he has been selective in his composition. Many things about the life of Jesus are left unrecorded. But that which is written is to intensify faith in the person of Jesus, who came into the world to bring us new life. The scriptures that we hear each day are meant to underscore in one way or another this basic fact. 

Points to Ponder 
Paul reaches Rome
The fourth Gospel and the beloved disciple
The Bible and our spiritual life 

– That Pentecost may be for the Church, not something that happened in the past but a repeated renewal in the forgiveness and the life of Christ, we pray:
– That by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may be faithful to our faith and commitment to all that Jesus taught us, we pray:
– That the Holy Spirit may keep recreating us anew in the love of God and the love of people, we insistently pray:  

Prayer over the Gifts Our loving, faithful God, in these signs of bread and wine, we want to celebrate the memory of Jesus, our Lord and our Savior. By the power of the Holy Spirit, make us one heart and soul in him. May our love and concern for one another express a strong faith in Jesus’ person and message, and bear witness that he is alive among us and that we are united in Jesus, our Lord. 

Prayer after Communion Lord, our God, in this Eucharist, Jesus has nourished us with his word and his body. Allow us to go with him in our journey through life, strong and confident through the Holy Spirit, that we will build up your kingdom of love and justice, and that we will reach our destiny of happiness without end. We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  

Blessing May the Church be an open book in which people can read the Word of God. The Lord be in your hearts and on your lips, that you may worthily proclaim his Gospel, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.