Rehabilitating Peter, praising women

A homily for the Third Sunday of Easter

The gospel reading [for April 18] is a double-header. We get two stories in one. Both stories are about the apostle Peter, and they take up most of Chapter 21 of the Gospel of John.

Scholars tell us that Chapter 21 was added to the Gospel, which originally ended with Chapter 20, and that this “postscript” material probably dates around 60 years after the death of Jesus. These added stories must have been very important to the early Christian community. The question becomes: Why did the Johannine community feel the need to add these stories to the Gospel?