Gospel – March 11, 2020 – Matthew 20:17-28
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day.”
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.”
“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.”
It is so difficult to accept impending hard times. It’s easier to ignore them. Bury our heads and let them remain unseen. But difficult times come.
Jesus has been preparing his disciples recently. He warns them about being too worried about titles and positions – the trappings of this world. The wife of Zebedee, mother of James and John, wants her sons to be honored for what they have been doing. Instead of rebuking them Jesus teaches them what it takes to be a leader.
In difficult times, you sacrifice for others. The most powerful leader puts aside his power to serve everyone else. And that service may require many sacrifices. And when it’s done, you may not be “leader” any longer.
Drink from the chalice.
Don’t ask for rewards because the one you ask may not be the one who rewards – it may be that someone else will decide your place.
Just listen to your heart – not your head. Your head is of this World. Your heart is of the next. Serve all – ignoring your needs – and God will reward you.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…