We Follow Him

In today’s Gospel John recounts Jesus’ admonishment of Peter for being concerned with the disposition of others rather than his own disposition. How often do we find ourselves in Peter’s position? It’s easy to fall into the habit of comparing ourselves to others and of comparing our sins to others: “I may gossip but at least I don’t do that other sin.” But the fact of the matter is that all sin puts distance between us and God. When we get caught up in comparison, we can lose sight of our own relationship with God and take it for granted. I think that through His response to Peter’s question, Jesus is reminding us to concentrate on our own relationship with Him. He says to us, “You follow me”. 

The First Reading gives an example of what following Jesus looks like; we hear a little bit about Paul’s time as a prisoner in Rome. The life of a Christian is radical and society will not always accept Christianity. Paul recognized this yet, as the First Reading tells us, “He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ”. Paul chose to devote his life to Christ and share the Gospel with all people regardless of the consequences. This is what Jesus means by “You follow me”. 

One of my favorite lines in Scripture is the one that ends our Gospel today: “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”. The disciples had the honor of witnessing Christ’s mission firsthand but, because they were human, they were not always perfect in following Jesus. They do, however, serve as the exemplars of how we should dedicate our lives to Christ Jesus and carry out his mission of spreading the Good News to the ends of the earth.

May we spend our lives following Christ wholeheartedly!

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Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.

Feature Image Credit: Matias Medina, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/22086-apostoles