Sunday 28 December 2014

Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent

What do you look for in life? Some of us may be looking for riches, wealth and financial security. Some may be looking for continuous happiness with family and friends. Some may look for titles, recognition and power. Some may look for popularity among peers. But what about you? What are you really looking for?

In today's Gospel, we come across the mother of Zebedee's sons coming to Jesus and asking Jesus to give her two sons important positions in heaven. These two brothers were looking for power and prestige, even in heaven. It seems strange that these two did not ask Jesus themselves and got their mother involved, but if we consider for a moment their actions, we can understand why they did so, since some of us would do the same. What they did could be called a form of "intercessory syndrome," where a person feels more comfortable to ask another to ask the authority or important person instead of asking themselves. Some of us do the same by asking our father or mother to ask the other parent, instead of asking the other parent directly. In the same way, some of us do the same by preferring to ask Mother Mary instead of asking God or Jesus directly.

But Jesus response to their request is a lesson in service and humility. In the Gospel, Jesus teaches us: "You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants 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 as a ransom for many." To be great is to be a humble servant to all. This is quite in contrast with what the world thinks of greatness, and if we call ourselves disciples of Jesus, then we need to learn to shed away the ways of the world and put on the ways of Christ. May we learn to walk humbly before our loving God and let Him be our guide.

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