By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 25, 2016
July 25, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Gospel MT 20:20-28

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.”

Reflection:

“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.”

Believing that Jesus was about to come into an earthly kingdom, James and John (the sons of Zebedee) were selfishly seeking to sit “one at His right hand and one at His left,” positions of worldly power and prestige.

Although James and John had been with Jesus for nearly three years, they did not understand that His kingdom was not one of “worldly power and prestige” but one of selflessness and sacrifice.

Before I become too smug about the lack of understanding of James and John, perhaps I should look at myself.

I profess to understand that Jesus is calling me to live a life of selflessness and service. But, how quickly I can flush with anger if my pride is offended or my intentions questioned.

I try to be humble, yet still feel the rush of pleasure at the praise and compliments of others.

Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking.

Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”

The “chalice” that Jesus speaks of is the “cross” of attempting to die to self so that we may rise with Him.

“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.”

Even though we know that by drinking Jesus’ chalice we will find peace of mind and heart, we still, like James and John, yearn for the bittersweet taste left by pride and prestige.

Speaking to the children, the grandfather explained that a good wolfe and a bad wolfe live within each of us and fight for control of our heart. The children asked, “Grandfather, which wolfe will win?” The grandfather replied, “The one you feed the most.”        – –  (An old Indian legend)



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