The Lord is calling us not to be preoccupied with our own needs, but to reach out and serve one another.


7-6

In today’s gospel, the mother of James and John becomes a focused advocate for them to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus in the kingdom.  Naturally this request causes a stir among the disciples. Then Jesus asks James, John, and their mother: ” ‘Can you drink of the cup I am to drink of?‘ ‘We can,’ they said”.

They did not understand what cup Jesus was referring to, but they assumed they could drink it. James did eventually drink of the cup of martyrdom (Acts 12:2) and John the cup of being persecuted (Rv 1:9). However, they refused this cup at first. James and John were chosen by Jesus to be with Him in His agony in the garden of Gethsemane, but as Jesus suffered and prayed to His Father about “the cup,” James and John fell asleep. Later that evening, James, John, and the other apostles refused to drink of the cup of suffering by abandoning Jesus as he was arrested.

Jesus gently reminds the disciples and us that “whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.”  “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  What a gift and an inspiration! We must understand greatness the way Jesus does. Our greatness is not the greatness of the world but the greatness of the cross. Once we become convinced of our call to true greatness, we look at life much differently. Only those who know their call to greatness see the need to immerse themselves in God’s word. So many Christians live lukewarm, mediocre lives. How can Christians settle for less than giving the Lord their best? They must not realize their call to greatness

The Lord is calling us not to be preoccupied with our own needs, but to reach out and serve one another. Jesus did this when He washed the feet of the apostles shortly before His brutal death. He had compassion on the weeping women of Jerusalem while He was carrying the cross up Calvary. Even while hanging on the cross, suffering, and breathing His last, Jesus looked beyond His own pain and promised paradise to the repentant thief.

We too are called to love others when we feel unloved ourselves, to meet others’ needs when our needs go unmet. This is impossible to do by human power, but “nothing is impossible with God”. By His grace, we can break the spell of self and serve one another with unselfish love.

This Lent, Jesus is asking us: “Can you drink of the cup?”  We know that by the grace of our Baptisms we can and must drink of the cup of suffering and of crucified love. Yet will we decide and are we deciding to drink of the cup? Naturally, no one wants to suffer. Supernaturally, however, love is more important than avoiding pain. May the love of Christ impel us to live no longer for ourselves but to suffer and die for Him. “There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life” for Jesus.

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One Response

  1. Have sent – I think Julie subscribed? Or maybe Louise? Someone told me they had.

    Sent from my iPad

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