Today’s Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28
Feast of Saint James, Apostle
What mother doesn’t want the very best for her children? So perhaps some of us can relate to “the mother of the sons of Zebedee” (identified in Mark’s gospel as Salome, mother of James and John) when she falls on her knees before Christ. In doing him homage, she also makes a bold request: that the two “sons of thunder” be given positions of honor in Jesus’s kingdom.
Jesus’s reply comes initially in the form of a question: “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” Far from being the position of honor that they set their mom up to ask for, James (whose feast we celebrate today) and John need to know that standing with Christ means not privilege and power, but rather service and suffering.
We know from studying their lives that Saints James and John did indeed rise to Jesus’s call, giving their lives to lead others to the Good News of the gospel. As Christians following in their footsteps, we must always remember that we are called not to “be served but to serve”. Today, within the context of our own busy lives and simple homes, we may struggle to find a way to accept placing ourselves and our own needs behind those of our families, friends, and communities. But this is our commitment as true followers of the one who came to give his life for us.
How can you endeavor to more fully and lovingly serve those around you today?
Lord, I ask to follow you, but too often forget that this means a life of service, not status. Help me to truly drink of your cup today and, in doing so, to fully, bravely, and humbly give my life into the service of your Word and your people.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Lisa Hendey