GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Matthew
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.”
“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.” Matthew 20:22b-23
This was a very gentle rebuke by Jesus. The mother of James and John asked Jesus for a favor. She wanted her sons to sit at His right and left in His Kingdom. Jesus gently said, “You do not know what you are asking” and then went on to speak the passage above.
“You do not know what you are asking.” Why did Jesus say this? In part, it’s because the path to glory, that is, the path to sitting at His right and left in the Kingdom, is the path of the Cross. It’s the path of freely embracing the sufferings of the Cross with Jesus. It’s not possible to enter into His glory without first walking with Him through His death.
So He asks these Apostles, “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” In other words, can you embrace my Cross? Can you embrace my suffering? Can you walk with me through my ultimate sacrifice and participate in that sacrifice by also offering your lives?
The Apostles affirm that they can and, indeed, they eventually do follow Jesus in His sacrifice by giving themselves completely to others.
Can you drink that chalice? Can you willingly accept the Cross in your life? Can you endure hardship, sacrifice and, perhaps, even persecution for being a follower of Jesus? Can you walk with Him through His suffering? If the answer is “Yes,” then you will share in His glory. Perhaps that glory will not be to sit at His right and left, but it will be a glory beyond your wildest imagination. It’s worth it and it’s an invitation that you will never regret accepting.
Are you afraid to be associated in public with God and your Church. Do you close your eyes to the needs of God? We each need to examine our own consciousnesses. Are we true followers of Jesus? Are you able on that day of Judgment to say, yes I did everything I could for you Lord during my time in this earthly world, truly thanking you for giving your life, allowing yourself be murdered on the cross to save me from my sins and an eternity of something beyond my earthly understanding. Do I let earthly issues get in the way of me being able to say this on the last day? We remember that we only get one chance and we do not know the day or hour that our opportunity (to say yes I was a true followers of yours) is lost for eternity. If the answer is no, start today by doing something more where you visibly show to the world that you are a true followers of Jesus.
Lord, I do desire to drink the chalice You drank. I desire to receive Your Precious Body and Blood and in that reception to receive the strength and grace I need to follow You in Your sufferings. As I follow You in Your sufferings, help me also to share in Your glory. Jesus, I trust in You.
From Catholic daily reflections.com