(I Jn 1:1-4; Jn 20:2-8)
John, John, John. Whether my name was called endearingly by my mother many years ago or mischievously today by one of the friars, I like to hear it. One who can name me usually knows me. Naming and knowing me gives me an identity which is unique and precious.
Today’s gospel never uses the name John. John the evangelist had a greater purpose than honoring one disciple. He calls the disciple with Peter “the one Jesus loved.” That is the disciple I want to be. The reality is that I am… and so are you.
Mary Magdalene is the beloved disciple who first came to the tomb and found it empty. Peter is the beloved disciple who heard the news and later became the head of the new Church. Yet the beloved disciple who outran Peter is even more special. Why? Maybe because he was given the talent and the athleticism, but particularly because of the faith that made him fleet of foot. Jesus’ love in him literally lifted him along the path to the tomb.
St. Francis must’ve been fairly fleet of foot, because we know people were always chasing him. “Why are they all running after you?” one of his brothers asked. I think it was because they saw a man who was radiant with love and they wanted some of it for themselves. Francis
made God visible to all of his time when they had thought it was only possible to find the Lord in clerical garb or behind cloistered walls.
Long before the Middle Ages when Jesus’ first disciples were experiencing a new life with him, they were compelled to share it. In John’s letter we read “Our purpose in writing you is that our joy may be complete.” Today I am called to believe: “John, you are the beloved disciple; share it with others to make your joy complete.” I hope you will hear God’s call of the beloved and share that joy with those you meet today.
– Bro. John Kerr, T.O.R.