Daily Reflection – July 25, 2016
Monday 25 July 2016
First Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Those who sow in tears, shall reap with shouts of joy
Gospel Reading: Matthew 20:20-28
Today’s Saint: St James, Apostle
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.”
“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.”
‘The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
What is it to be seated at the right and at the left of Jesus? To the mother of James and John, it meant authority and recognition, to the disciples, perhaps a sign of faithfulness, or a token of love or friendship. To Jesus, however, it meant death, passion and blood-shed. How fitting it was, then, that the two men at his right and left beside the Cross should not be James or John or Jude or Andrew, or Peter who swore undying faithfulness to his Master; but criminals, condemned to the same fate of pain, suffering and shattering death! What a reminder of what true authority and leadership means to Christ: love, sacrifice and service, even unto death! Indeed, the mother of the two apostles knew not what she asked for on behalf of her sons, and their subsequent life of service and martyrdom would, ultimately, grant her wish.