Homily (Reflection) for Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent (24th February, 2016) on the Gospel
Jer 18:18-20;Ps 30:5-6.14-16 (R. v. 17);
Topic: Below the robe.
Today’s gospel is made up of two parts, namely: Jesus foretells His death and resurrection a third time (Matt 20:17-19) and The Request of the Mother of James and John (Matt 20:20-28). Our reflection will focus on the second part.
The mother of James and John approached Jesus with her two sons, kneeling before Jesus and asked for a favour. Jesus said to her, “What do you want?” She replied, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Although the two promised to drink the cup Jesus was to take yet He said to them, “... to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
The reaction of the ten showed among other things that they were not different. Calling them to Himself Jesus said to them,
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matt 20:25-28).
The attitudes of both the rulers and great ones among the Gentiles as depicted in today’s gospel are better than what we see in the house of God today. Hence many are ready for anything just to become leaders.
The question, ‘What do you want?’ (Matt 20:21) can be more beneficial if each of us take it as one directed to him/herself. Each of us must take time to answer this question. It demands nothing less than an honest answer which will help each of us see below his or her own robe, whether one is on the right track or not. It is very dangerous to leave this unanswered. Our call to be Christians is a call to humility, cf. Jas 4:6, 10; 1Pt 3:8; 5:6. Christians ought to be humbler as they go higher. We must see others as better than ourselves, cf. Phil 2:3.
Bible Reading: Phil 2:1-18; Rom 15:1-6.
Thought for today: What do you want? (Matt 20:21).
Let us pray: Lord, help me to desire you and you alone – Amen.
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