February 28, 2018

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."

-Matthew 17:20-28

A short reflection based on today's Gospel:

Two of my greatest fears in life go hand in hand: 1) Being afraid that I'm not working hard enough to pull my weight, and 2) Being afraid that, if I am working hard, my hard work won't be recognized and will go to waste. Funny how the Accuser likes to play contradictory fears off of each other to make it seem like we're in a lose-lose situation, huh? 

The Lord has given me more than anyone could ever earn or deserve, and he sees in secret, so my hard work is always seen by the Father. I pray to be content with His approval and reward, not depending on the approval of those around me.

Today, James and John's mother requests honor for her boys. It almost sounds foolish when you have the benefit of hindsight, but it was actually a very faithful request. She knew Jesus was Lord and would sit in the place of honor, and she believed in His divine nature and subsequent ability to bestow heavenly honor on her sons. But that's not what they need.

It is not ours to ask to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus; God chooses who receives honor. Instead, ours is the Cup, Servitude, and Trust in God.

Frassati NY