Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. G. Peter Irving III

5/18/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The paths of Peter and John, these two pillars of the early Church, would be different. Peter's life would be "cut short" by a bloody martyrdom after having established his "see" in Rome. John would live to be an old man and serve as a bridge between the apostolic times and the next generation of Christians.


By Fr. G. Peter Irving III

Catholic Online (

5/18/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: Fr. G. Peter Irving III, Holy Innocents Long Beach, St. Peter, St. John, martyrdom of St. Peter

LONG BEACH, CA (Catholic Online) - Today's Gospel reading brings us to the last verses of the last chapter of the Gospel according to St. John. St. Peter who had denied the Lord three times has been rehabilitated with Jesus' threefold question, "Do you love me?" and his threefold command to "Feed my sheep."

In his inaugural homily as Roman Pontiff, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explained what this "feeding" means. He said, "Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer."

Before the Passion, Peter boldly announced that he would lay down his life for Jesus. And yet at the hour when Jesus was in chains and on the fast track to Calvary, Peter denied him, just as Jesus predicted. Now having been humbled, purified, and strengthened by the Resurrection, Peter is ready to lay down his life for his Master and for the flock entrusted to him.

It is in this last chapter that Jesus makes another prediction. He foretells St. Peter's martyrdom. This prophecy came true in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero around A.D. 67. Eusebius tells us he was crucified upside down.

The Gospel reading of today's Mass begins with the words: "Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved." In his Gospel, St. John refers to himself as the "disciple whom Jesus loved." He was the "baby" of the apostolic band (maybe even still a teenager at the beginning) and because of his youth and purity of heart he was the object of special tenderness on the part of Jesus. In fact, John himself reminds us that he was the one who "reclined upon his chest during the [last] supper."

So Peter asks Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" He's curious. Peter, too, loved John and was wondering if he too would follow the same path of martyrdom. But Jesus doesn't satisfy Peter's curiosity.  He simply says: "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me."

The paths of Peter and John, these two pillars of the early Church, would be different. Peter's life would be "cut short" by a bloody martyrdom after having established his "see" in Rome. John would live to be an old man and serve as a bridge between the apostolic times and the next generation of Christians.

Peter would preach his last sermons in Rome; John would leave an impressive written legacy (composed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) which includes the Fourth Gospel, his epistles and the Apocalypse (Revelation).

Each followed a different path. Each was given different roles. What they held in common was their faith in the Crucified and Risen Jesus whom they both faithfully served until their dying breath.

The same is true of Christ's disciples today. Each of us has a unique role to play as co-workers with Christ in the work of redemption. Are we fulfilling that task? Do we even care to know what it is? Are we willing to deny ourselves and take up our cross so that the Gospel may be preached to everyone we meet? Are we doing our part to reach out to everyone especially during this Year of Faith?

Let us confidently ask Our Lady, Queen of Apostles and Martyrs, to help us with her prayers so that we may become, like St. Peter and St. John, very effective and credible witnesses of Christ in the world.


Fr. G. Peter Irving III is a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is Pastor of Holy Innocents Church, Long Beach, California.


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'

Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.


More Year of Faith

The Happy Priest on the Baptism of the Lord and our own Baptism Watch

Image of

By Fr. James Farfaglia

The consideration of Jesus' baptism, gives us an opportunity to remember our own baptism.  If you do not know the date of your own baptism, it is a good idea to go through your personal files and find out when it occurred.  CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic ... continue reading

Regret of Judas or Repentance of Peter?

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - I didn't steal any cookies mommy! says a little boy whose mother asked him if he was hungry, wiping the ... continue reading

Pentecost: St Cyril of Jerusalem on The Living Water of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online

The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man's self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches ... continue reading

The Wedding Invitation of Jesus: We are Called to Live the Nuptial Mystery Watch

Image of There will be no giving or taking in marriage in the kingdom to come because the very purpose and meaning of marriage itself will be fulfilled. (See, e.g. Mk. 12:18-27) We will be living in the fullness of the Communion of Love with the Trinity. The symbol will give way to the eternal reality, the Sacrament will be fulfilled in the fullness of communion. All of human love will be completed in the Love which lasts forever.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is not accidental that the Bible, from beginning to the end, uses marriage as a metaphor and a symbol to reveal the plan of God for the whole human race.  Marriage was God's plan from the beginning as we see in the first book of Genesis. Throughout the Old ... continue reading

The Sower. The Seed. The Field. Understanding the Christian Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"A sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for ... continue reading

Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading

Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading

The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading

Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading

Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading

All Year of Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 8:6-13
6 As it is, he has been given a ministry as far superior as is the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:8, 10, 11-12, 13-14
8 I am listening. What is God's message? Yahweh's message is peace for ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:13-19
13 He now went up onto the mountain and summoned those he wanted. So they ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 20th, 2017 Image

St. Fabian
January 20: Eusebius, born just a few years after Fabian's ... Read More