The Gospel According to 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.” 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: Today we hear the third prediction of Christ’s passion. And even though Jesus is telling his disciples, yet again, about this cruel and painful torture and death, their concern is all about them, “All about me”. How often are we told about something of extreme importance and our response is “ well, what’s in it for me, what do I get out of this.”? Is this just human nature or has this been instilled in us from our childhood? The other question in this passage is why is the Mother of these two asking Jesus this question? Popular scholar Raymond Brown suggests, that it’s Matthew who is shifting the request from the sons of Zebedee to their mother’s, to avoid dishonoring themselves. They have already been told that they have an important role in God’s kingdom. Jesus tells us that we too have a place already in His kingdom.
Jesus came down to show each of us, by His example, of how we should treat each other here on this earth. Serving our brothers and sisters in need, being Jesus’ hands and feet, and showing compassion for each other until he returns.
Lent is the time for each of us to reflect on our lives and how we are following in His footsteps.
The Son of Man did not come to be served but serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. And includes each one of us!
Are we listening? Do you hear His voice?
Action of the Day: I would like to challenge each one of you today to help one person each day this week by any simple act of compassion. The goal is not to change the world overnight, but to change the world showing God’s love one person at a time. Who ever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.