Posted by: livingscripture | March 4, 2015

Second Wednesday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

“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 b first among you shall be your slave.”   

 (Matthew 20: 24-27)   

How should we live this Word Eucharist

This familiar scene is very odd.  Desires, wills, possibilities intertwine to the point that good intentions seen in the protagonists, are negatively colored and conflict among themselves.  Awkward is the mother who goes to intercede for her sons, but it is not said that she is merely ambitious.  As a disciple herself, perhaps she had seen in her sons the ability to truly follow Jesus deeply and she approaches Jesus to interpret this availability.  Jesus does not scold her, but simply addresses even the sons and the plan that passes from ‘want’ to ‘power’.  “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”  Their enthusiasm responds ‘yes’.

Instead, the indignation of the others shows more than common sense or righteousness.  It also shows their hypocrisy and perhaps their envy.  It is somewhat like the older brother in the parable of the merciful father.  Jesus’ final words are good for everyone.  Power and authority become service, become sacrifice.  Power and authority are worthwhile only when they are placed at the service of others. This familiar scene is very odd.  Desires, wills, possibilities intertwine to the point that good intentions seen in the protagonists, are negatively colored and conflict among themselves.  Awkward is the mother who goes to intercede for her sons, but it is not said that she is merely ambitious.  As a disciple herself, perhaps she had seen in her sons the ability to truly follow Jesus deeply and she approaches Jesus to interpret this availability.  Jesus does not scold her, but simply addresses even the sons and the plan that passes from ‘want’ to ‘power’.  “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”  Their enthusiasm responds ‘yes’.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on my way of exercising any power or authority I may have in my family, my community, my workplace, my parish.  Is it humble service of others like Jesus?

Lord, help me to translate the word ‘power’ into ‘ability to drink of Your chalice’.  Help me to desire to be powerful because I am responsible, able to accompany others to increase their power, their capacity to care for life, for the world, for history.

The Voice of Pope Francis

True power is service.  We need to tend to people, to care for every person, with love, especially children and the elderly, those who are more fragile, and who often are at the periphery of our heart.

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