“My Children Need Top Billing Jesus!” – Mt 20:20-23


I thought I posted this yesterday, but must have ssaved as a draft instead.  So your getting a toofer today. 

Quote or Joke of the Day:

 

You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

 

Today’s Meditation:

 

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached him 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 cup that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.”  He replied, “My cup 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.” (NAB Mt 20:20-23)

 

Not to be stereotypical, but sounds like a good Jewish mother doing what she does best:  being a “helicopter” mom, and always hovering over her children.  The request of the sons of Zebedee, for the highest places of honor in the kingdom, and at the indignation of the other ten disciples present at the time of this request, show that neither of the two brothers or the mother understood that what makes for greatness in the kingdom is not power, but humble service.  How often has Jesus said that His children, the lowly, the poor, and the meek will inherit His kingdom?  Doesn’t sound  like there is any room for people that want to stand out to me.

The reason to write about  the mother’s request is not totally clear.  Possibly, Jesus intended to make an allusion to Bathsheba’s seeking the kingdom for Solomon (found in 1 Kings 1:11-21).   It could be that John and James  mother just wanted her children to have high positions in Jesus’ “court,” when He finally “does” comes into power SHE anticipated.  What none of the three of them realized is that Jesus’ ministry on earth will reach its highest point when he gives his life for the deliverance of the human race from sin, in agony on the cross; and after a prior horrendous treatment at the hands of the Roman soldiers.

You do not know what you are asking” The Greek verbs that were used for this translation, are plural and taken with the rest of the verse, indicates that the answer is not necessarily addressed to the mother, but to her sons instead.  From my reading and un-inspired thoughts, I believe that the three of them were together; that she did ask the request, and that Jesus answered to her, James, and John together, while looking at His two chosen Apostles.  

Drink the cup” The metaphor of “drinking the cup” is often used in the Old Testament to refer to acceptance of the destiny assigned by God.  In Jesus’ case, this involves a divine judgment on sin, that Jesus is to make amends for, on behalf of us: His sinners.

In the request of James and John to share in the glory, they did not know that it must also involve a share in Jesus’ sufferings as well.  The authority of assigning places of honor in the kingdom is reserved only to God, even today.  Maybe the positions directly to the right and left of Jesus are reserved for me and you; it doesn’t sound like it has been reserved as of yet.  We will not know until we see Jesus in Heaven. 

“Lord, help me to be humble, and not to want any glory on this earth, not directly associated to your intervention.  I choose only to live for you, and your wishes.  Amen.”

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

 

*****

 

Franciscan Saint of the Day:  Bl. Liberatus Weiss, Samuele Marzorati and Michele Pio Fasoli

 

Died in 1716.  These three friars lived together in Ethiopia.  They were stoned to death because they refused to deny their Faith.  They were Franciscan missionaries of Vienna.

(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)

 

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #3:

 

The present rule, succeeding “Memoriale Propositi” (1221) and the rules approved by the Supreme Pontiffs Nicholas IV and Leo XIII, adapts the Secular Franciscan Order to the needs and expectations of the Holy Church in the conditions of changing times. Its interpretation belongs to the Holy See and its application will be made by the General Constitutions and particular statutes.

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