Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Are you sometimes like John and James, seeking honor for yourself? - Daily Reflections March 15, 2017

Today’s two readings have something in common. In the First Reading, we hear about a plot to kill the prophet Jeremiah, for he was telling the people what they did not like to hear. And in the Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples that He will soon suffer like Jeremiah, because He knew that the Jewish authorities were plotting to kill Him.
       It is quite sad and very insensitive that, at such a moment, the ambitious mother of James and John tried to ask for special places of honor in the Kingdom of God. In the Gospel of Mark, it was not the mother but the two brothers themselves who asked Jesus directly for this favor.
       Seeking the limelight was and still is common in every society, even in the Church. And so it should not surprise us when even James and John, two very close friends of Jesus, fell into that temptation, saying, “What’s in it for me, Lord?”
       The desire for honor and power, for climbing the social ladder, can easily blind a person to realize what it means to follow Christ. It can blind a person to the meaning of true service according to Jesus’ standards, namely to think first of others before thinking about one’s self.
       Jesus, as we said, had just told His Apostles about His fast approaching passion and death, and we can imagine that it weighs heavily on His heart. Surely He was expecting some comforting words from His friends. But drowning in their own fascination for recognition, they are completely unmindful of Christ’s inner pain. But He doesn’t let Himself get discouraged. Rather, He gently helps them to look beyond themselves to follow His lead of self-giving to the point of death. He reminds them that He did not come to be served but to serve. And we should learn from Him. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
---------- REFLECTION QUESTION ----------
Are you sometimes like John and James, seeking honor for yourself?
Lord, too often I compare myself with others. It’s easy for me to imagine I am better than them. And so I ignore You and Your great goodness. I forget that everything I have comes from You. Help me to keep this truth in mind so I may have an attitude of genuine humility in my heart. Amen

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