Today we honor St. John the beloved disciple. Our Gospel story is one of several that pair and contrast Peter an John. In today’s reading they both run, but John runs faster. However, on reaching the tomb John waits to let Peter enter before him.
We might take this story along with the story of the Last Supper when John was laying against the breast of Jesus, Peter told him to find out which of the disciples would betray Jesus, and John did what Peter told him to do.
We see them again partnered in the last chapter of the Gospel when John’s heart tells him that the man on the shore is Jesus, but he lets Peter dive in to be the one to meet up with Jesus.
Taking all these stories together we are brought to see Peter and John as symbols. Peter symbolizes church authority, while John symbolizes personal holiness that brings one closer to Jesus.
In recognizing John’s role Peter tells us that church authorities must honor holiness. In recognizing Peter’s authority John shows us that respect for church authority must be a part of a holy life.