Today's Thoughts: Usually when I hear today's Gospel the thought that comes into mind is, "Right question, wrong time!" What I mean by this is that Mrs. Zebedee asks the right question but it at the wrong time. She wants the best for her sons; she wants eternal life, who doesn't? It is the goal of every person of faith. Yet if we listen to the passage closely, Jesus has just talked to them about what lies ahead, he has shared with them the reality of his Passion and Death. What's their response, "Can my sons have a place of honor in the Kingdom?" If Jesus were like us he might have responded, "Lady, did you just hear what I said!" But he doesn't, Jesus turns it once again into a teaching moment in the hope his disciples will continue to grow.
We might say that Mrs. Zebedee's question is a typical human response when someone is sharing their deep human emotions and feelings. When someone shares with us a personal struggle, a personal tragedy, a personal hurt or pain, at those moments we tend to want to change the subject or turn inward and think of ourselves. Jesus and the readings the last few days have been trying to focus us beyond ourselves. A disciple serves. A disciple looks outward toward others. A disciple tries to right the wrongs of society. A disciple thinks of those who have no one to help them. A disciple is not concern about herself or himself. A disciple has entrusted herself or himself to God. Jesus uses this moment today to once again make this point. He has "not come to be served but to serve and to give his life in ransom for the many."
Jeremiah wants to know why bad things happen to good people. Why for all the good work he has done he faces being repaid with death? All he did was to bring God's message to the people. All he did was be a faithful disciple. What Jeremiah learns and what eventually Jesus' disciples learn is that discipleship is not easy and often dangerous. Yet if we trust in God, if we look beyond ourselves to others God will take care of us when it counts most.
As we continue to make our way through this Lent let us listen to Jesus and not respond by thinking just of ourselves but let us trust in God's kindness and love because we too are willing to serve rather than be served. We too are willing to look beyond ourselves for the sake of the Kingdom!
Have a great Wednesday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...