Today's gospel opens:
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?”
What Jesus said and what Peter heard were not the same thing, and then as it spread among the apostles it became accepted as if Jesus said it.
How little the world has changed. Even today, if you just keep repeating a story enough, some people, the ignorant, will believe it to be true. I use the word ignorant not in a pejorative sense, but in its literal sense, those without knowledge, those who do not know the truth.
In his great prayer we read this week Jesus dedicated us, not to gossip, rumor, innuendo, speculation, or even accusation, but to the Truth.
Sanctify them in the truth (Jn 17:17)
It is hard when we hear the same things repeated over and over again, not to fall into the trap, particularly if it is something we want to believe. But as Christians, we must train ourselves to cut through the noise, sometimes we have to be patient, but we must wait for the truth. This must apply this not just to the truth of the gospel but the truth in every aspect of our lives.