They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles;they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.”
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.”
Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.
But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Here we have a solemn moment where Jesus shares his forthcoming fate with the Twelve and James and John have the audacity to say, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” In its reading it seems they have ignored what their master just said. But Jesus responds with the freedom and availability he has shown to every person he encounters. What they want is to share in his glory. Jesus responds to them with an invitation to true commitment that might as well have come out of St. Ignatius’ Call of the King meditation: “Whoever would like to come with me is to labor with me, that following me in the pain, he may also follow me in the glory.”
All Christ-followers can indeed share in Christ’s glory, but it doesn’t come for free. It comes with a commitment to the challenges (and joys) of service and laying down one’s life for others.
How would you respond to Jesus’ invitation?
God, who calls us to a life-changing mission:
Enflame our hearts with the desire to change the world with you,
to share our gifts and take part in your mission.
May we always respond to your invitation to love.
May our hearts be on fire with your love.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!