Readings for Wednesday March 3, 2010
First Reading: Jeremiah 18:18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 31
Gospel: Matthew 20:17-28
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt 20:20-28)
In today's gospel reading, James and John are given a humbling lesson on why they are really there. You really cannot blame them, they were probably figuring; "hey, here we are at the feet of the master, I bet He could use two good men at His right and at His left." They were probably also thinking since nobody else had asked that this was up for grabs, and instead of jut asking themselves they bring in the big guns ... their mother. Now like I said, who can really blame them for asking, I mean that is really not such a bad thing to sit at the side Jesus, and when you think about it, that is something that we should all strive for. The only problem with what James and John wanted was that they did not have the right reason. You see, they were driven by power, position, and prestige (the three Ps); not by a servant's heart. Jesus quickly puts and end to their conversation and clarifies what He and the disciples are really there for. Jesus tells them the importance of not "lording their position" over others, and the importance of following His ways be seeking to serve, rather than be served.
We are not here to get all the glory and honor for ourselves, we are here to serve and to give God all the glory and honor. This is the model that we were given by Christ, and it is this example that we should follow in our own life. "the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mt 20:28)
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you bless us with. We praise you for all your love and mercy, help us to love and be merciful this day and all days. We pray for all of our priests and religious; that they may be strengthened in their vows and in their ministries. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.