Hello to you all,
I can’t believe that we are almost done with this beautiful Gospel of John, but it has been such a wonderful adventure studying it together. I hope that you are all enjoying the study and the pleasure of learning from each other.
This chapter describing the resurrection of Jesus is an amazing story. We’ve heard it and read it so many times, and each time we allow ourselves to delve into its mysteries, we strengthen our faith, our hope and our love as we grow in our awareness and understanding of God’s great love for His people.
One thing that impressed me in studying this chapter was in the commentary in our workbook for this chapter, on page 174. It describes Peter and John running to the tomb on Easter morning after they had been told that the tomb is empty–what an image that is to our minds. The commentary tells us “Peter and John represent the charisms of love and authority within the Church…Jesus’ love is not a reckless love that flouts deference to authority. Both love and authority are of Jesus. Properly exercised, they are never in conflict.”
This idea gave me a lot to think about. It reminded me of how often to be in charge of something can bring out a lot of tendencies in us to focus on what we want to do, and what we want to achieve, and how we want to control things, and it is so easy to forget that if our service is not deeply rooted in love, then it will not achieve the ends that God has planned for it. Often I have not fully understood some authority over me, but when I try to look at that authority through the filter of love, it can become clearer to me and it is easier for me to work with. Sometimes in our culture today the teachings of the Church are resented because they sound too “authoritarian” to our ears, but as we spend time in prayer we can come to understand that they are based on love. And I had never thought about Peter and John representing these two charisms which are so inseparable and necessary to our ongoing faith.
And similar to that idea, in one of the footnotes in my Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, there is a fascinating allegory that is completely new to me, at least. Referencing those same lines describing Peter and John running to the tomb on Easter morning, it says: “The tomb is the Sacred Scriptures. Peter is faith, which is the first thing we bring to its pages, and John is understanding, which afterward enters and penetrates their meaning more deeply.”
I immediately thought of our Bible Study when I read this–each of us has responded to the nudges of the Holy Spirit and brought our individual faith to this study of Sacred Scriptures. I believe that through our study together and our discussions and sharing we have had the opportunity to grow in our understanding of their meaning–I know that it has been true for me.
As always, there is so much for us to learn and discuss in these chapters, and I continue to learn so much from each of you. Please feel free to contact Franciene or I if you have any questions or comments.
You all are in our prayers,
Franciene and Karen