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. Jul 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

What about him, Lord?

Acts 28:16-20.30-31, Jn 21:20-25. Today's reading presents us with the final paragraphs of the Acts of the Apostles and of the Gospel of Luke. The Acts of the Apostles completes two-volume story of Luke, weaving a close pattern of continuity from book one (Luke's Gospel) into book two. The Gospel begins from late Old Testament Jerusalem (Lk. 1-2) and moves through John the work of Baptist at the river Jordan (Lk. 3) and the preaching of Jesus in Galilee, to complete the circle back in Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified and glorified (Lk. 22-24). A major segment of the Gospel of Luke is the "Journey Narrative" (Lk. 9-19), that portrays the life-journey of Jesus as a “going up” to Jerusalem, on His way towards the Cross and resurrection. The Acts of the Apostles also starts in Jerusalem where the disciples were filled with the Spirit and are now ready to go and spread the faith to the wider world (Acts 1-12). Its major segment is the “Journey Narrative” of Paul and his companions (Acts 13-28), who travelled through the Greek speaking world, founding Churches and local communities of faith. The activities of Paul leads up to his arrival in Rome, which heralds the worldwide spread of the faith. Rome, the centre of the empire, becomes the new Jerusalem where the disciples praise the Lord.

The “Journey” idea of the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles is a model for our own lives. Every phase and experience, whether hard or easy, is part of our journey towards the new “Jerusalem.” The Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles invite us to see life as a meaningful journey, guided by divine providence. There are stages of joy and effort and also times for resting and renewal. Trusting in Jesus we can see each day as part of our journey towards our destiny with God. Today's Gospel scene features three main characters, Jesus, Peter and the Beloved Disciple. Peter had just received an important role, “Feed my lambs and my sheep.” Instead of asking what this new responsibility might mean, Peter asks about the future of the Beloved Disciple: “What about him, Lord?” The response from Jesus suggest that: “I have other plans for him. You just follow me, doing the work I have given you.” Peter and the Beloved Disciple had different roles to play. Peter’s great ministry ended with his martyrdom in Rome, during the first persecution under emperor Nero. The Beloved Disciple stayed in the East blessing the new communities of faith with his wisdom and died an old man in the island of Patmos. The Lord has different roles for each of us, something that no one else can do. Rather than wondering, like Peter, what God wants from other people, we need to discern what task is given to us, individually. Comparison with others is just a distraction; we can only be ourselves. The Lord has a unique role for each one of us, let us seek and fulfil our purpose in life.

May the Lord be with us always, give us strength and encourage us to be more committed and to fearlessly proclaim His truth and love to all those who encounter us! Amen!! Good morning and happy weekend!!!

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