Saturday 30 May 2020

Seventh Week of Easter

Word for today
The Gospel of John 21:20-25

Do not think, do not calculate

Once something has happened, it  is over and cannot be changed any longer. Every second spent thinking about it, figuring out how things could have been different, or could have been avoided, is a waste of time.  It is, moreover, time dedicated to thoughts which can cause suffering and despair. No circumstance is unbearable if you are still alive, but everything can become unbearable if it is not accepted and if it generates thoughts about how it could have been different. Once something has happened, it is over and we cannot change it anymore. Does that mean that we should resign ourselves, or let what happened bend our crush us? No, absolutely not. We must simply accept reality, without thinking and calculating how reality could have been different or avoided.
The Gospel describes an episode in Jesus's life in which He is talking with his disciples. It is an episode lasting a few minutes in the days of the betrayal, which anticipates the trial, the sentence, the torture and death of Jesus. Peter is thinking. His mind is closed, blocked, he is thinking about Jesus' words, one of you will betray me (John 13:21). Peter does not want it, he does not accept it. Peter does not want to see Jesus, his Jesus, betrayed by His friends, tortured by the enemy, nailed to a cross without any defense and totally abandoned. Nor does Peter want to see what is happening to the twelve who are fallling away from one another because of mutual suspicion, fear, indecision, separation from Jesus, fear of the leaders of the established power. Peter is confused, he feels panicky, afraid, he is wondering how to change all this, how to get out of it, how to avoid it. Peter is sad, he is suffering and wants to do something, but he doesn't know what. This suffering and tension, his non-acceptance explodes and he shouts out an illogical question to Jesus Lord, what about him? referring to the disciple whom Jesus loved, John. Jesus gives one of the wisest answers that a human ear can hear: What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me. As if to say: do not worry, Peter. Indeed, more precisely, the text says: Peter, do not concern yourself about it, it is none of your business, you mustn't think about how to change the things that have happened nor try to figure out how they could have been, just follow me, that is simply do well what I ask you to do, do it now and do it with love always, do your best, respect upir calling, do not turn away from your decision, do not let yourself be diverted from your task. Peter, it is not your concern if I am betrayed, it is not your business if they kill me, you cannot avoid it, you cannot change it. If you let it become a concern of yours, if you start thinking about and figuring it out, you will suffer and you will get in the way, you will no longer be useful to the cause and the project that I asked you to carry out. If they betray and kill me, it is not your business. If John is to live without ever seeing death, it is not your concern. If the leaders of the people torture me, beat me and crush me under the weight of the cross and then nail me to the it, it is not your business,  it is not in any way your business. Follow me, follow me inside yourself, follow me in your soul, in everything you do and move, follow me and my Word, and do not be concerned about anything else, follow me and love, follow me and believe me, follow me and do not let your attention be diverted, do not think, do not calculate. If you calculate, you will become like stone, if you think you will suffer, if you have expectations you will feel anxiety. Do not spend your life thinking about the injuries you could have avoided yourself, do not spend your life thinking about the wounds that you could have avoided causing others, or you will spend your life full of regret and resentment, suffering and disappointment. You will spend your life in pain for nothing. Do not think, do not calculate, follow me. Ask forgiveness always and forgive others always, and follow me, do not be concerned about  what can and might will happen. Whatever happens, once it is over, it is not your business anymore, you cannot change it. Do not become someone who doesn't care, but you have to understand that the only way to change reality is to change yourself and in order to do that, you must do your task the best you can, you have to follow your mandate with total love and without distraction. You must not become a fanatic or a perfectionist, but at the same time do not become distracted from your task, and do it the best you can, without grumbling, without questioning, without expecting rewards, without seeking support, without waiting or explecting the applause and appreciation of others. Follow me and everything will take care of itself. You cannot change what cannot be changed, but you can follow love without becoming distracted.

Do not be surprised,
do not be frightened
everything will work out
according to the power of love.
Do not live in anxiety,
do not judge,
do not pressure,
everything will be led to unity
according to the heart of God.

Amen.