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parentingToday’s gospel reading is the conclusion of John’s account (21:20-25). As is sometimes the case, Peter is concerned about something that warrants correction from Jesus. As they are walking along Peter turns and sees John following so he says to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answers (in a rather uncharacteristically abrupt way), “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” There’s more here, obviously, than if Peter and Jesus were going to someone’s house for dinner. Jesus is about to leave the planet and he could be speaking of the way Peter is to follow in his footsteps, i.e. to crucifixion. Also, this is John’s account so he (or the members of his community who wrote the text) probably wants to have the last word about the ministry continuing. But just taking the words at face value, I see a lesson. Sometimes we are overly concerned about the actions and motivations of others. It could be when we’re at a meeting, involved in a project or dealing with our children who want to let us know what is and is not fair. I have often heard that no matter how many people we are involved with in life, we are ultimately responsible for ourselves; we go to heaven alone. There is sometimes a fine line between caring for the welfare of others (which we must do) and taking over responsibility for their actions (which we must not). Today, then, I am grateful to Peter for the word that says in essence: “Mind your own business.”

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