Who is the beloved disciple?

Today is the last of our Easter season – it is a time of change – from next week we are back in Ordinary Time in the Church’s liturgical calendar.  If we were in the church, we would see our colours change from white/gold to green.  The Church has a number of colours:

  • Purple (the colour of preparation) – for Advent and Lent
  • Gold/White – for Easter and Christmas
  • Red – for the celebration of Pentecost, Palm Sunday and for Saints who have been martyred
  • Green – for Ordinary Time

Fr Paul reads today from John (21:20-25), which comes right at the end of John’s Gospel. He says we hear for the fourth time about the ‘beloved disciple’, who is never named.  Most of the time he is associated with Simon Peter.

It is significant to reflect on the four appearances of the ‘beloved disciple’:

  1. He sits next to Jesus at the Eucharistic table during the Last Supper
  2. He is at the foot of the Cross, where Jesus places his mother, Mary, into his care.
  3. He is at the tomb and is a witness to the resurrection of Jesus
  4. He here in this Gospel (with Peter) and it will be his job to hand on the faith to others.

Fr Paul says that, maybe, the ‘beloved disciple’ has no name because if you look at the four things above then the ‘beloved disciple’ is the very portrait of every Christian that Jesus loves.

Thinking on this at the end of our Easter Season, Fr Paul says to ask ourselves ‘Am I the beloved disciple, here and now? Can I sit with Jesus at the Eucharist when we are able to? Can I continue to believe in the Resurrection? Can I hand on this faith in Jesus to others just as the beloved disciple does?