Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Mother of Zebedee's Sons

So far so good, my faithfulness to keeping the station churches of Rome by book here from Bern has been respectable up to this point. One of today's points for meditation is well taken: 

"At this stage of Matthew’s gospel, the disciples have been with Jesus for some time. They have heard the Sermon on the Mount and its messianic inversion of expectations— the poor in spirit have the Kingdom already among them; the meek will inherit the earth; turning the other cheek, not seeking revenge, is the path of righteous living; so is loving one’s enemies. They have seen the Lord walking on water and driving out demons. They have been taught to pray; they have been instructed by the parables of the Kingdom; they have witnessed the miraculous feeding of the multitude; three of them have been present at the Transfiguration. 

"And still they don’t get it. 

"Rather than helping their mother understand that what she seeks for them— power— is not what the Kingdom is about, James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, assure the Lord that they’re quite up to a task they basically misconstrue. Moreover, the other disciples are now upset that James and John are angling for positions of preferment in the new dispensation that they all sense is imminent because of Jesus. So, once again, the Lord has to remind them of a basic truth of the Kingdom: that “whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave.” Why? Because this is the logic of the Kingdom. And it is first made manifest in the herald of the Kingdom, in whom God’s Reign is already erupting into history: “the Son of Man [who] came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  (Weigel, George (2013-10-29). Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches (Kindle Locations 1746-1757). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.) 

Centering on Christ, on His action, once and for all on Calvary, for the sake of the life of the world, renewed daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, focusing on Him as King of the World and Eternity, is the ongoing challenge for us, baptized into His Blood. As loudly as we sometimes protest, our quest for what boils down to little more than a wish to lord it over others, reveals itself in countless choices, actions and reactions marking our every day.

We pray that Lent will open hearts, eyes and minds to humble adoration of  “the Son of Man [who] came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


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