Thursday, July 24, 2014
Feast, St. James, Apostle
July 25, 2014
Friday 16th Week in Ordinary Time
[Feast, St. James, Apostle]
Red, 2 Cor 4: 7-15 / Ps 126: 1bc-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6 / Mt 20: 20-28
Reading: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
However, we carry this treasure in vessels of clay, so that this all-surpassing power may not be seen as ours but as God's. Trials of every sort come to us, but we are not discouraged. We are left without answer, but do not despair; persecuted but not abandoned, knocked down but not crushed. At any moment we carry in our person the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in us. For we, the living, are given up continually to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may appear in our mortal existence. And as death is at work in us, life comes to you. We have received the same spirit of faith referred to in Scripture that says: I believed and so I spoke. We also believe and so we speak. We know that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us, with you, into his presence. Finally, everything is for your good, so that grace will come more abundantly upon you and great will be the thanksgiving for the glory of God.
Gospel: Matthew 20: 20-28
Then the mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons, and she knelt down, to ask a favor. Jesus said to her, "What do you want?" And she answered, "Here you have my two sons. Grant that they may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, when you are in your kingdom." Jesus said to the brothers, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They answered, "We can." Jesus replied, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right or at my left is not for me to grant. That will be for those, for whom my Father has prepared it." The other ten heard all this, and were angry with the two brothers. Then Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the nations act as tyrants over them, and the powerful oppress them. It shall not be so among you: whoever wants to be more important in your community shall make himself your servant. And if you want to be the first of all, make yourself the servant of all. Be like the Son of Man who has come, not to be served but to serve, and to give his life to redeem many."
In teaching his disciples, our Lord never failed to use real life events to illustrate certain salient points of what he wanted to impart. Like all mothers, the mother of the two ambitious brothers - James the Great also known as the "son of thunder" and John the Evangelist, tried to intercede for her sons to advance their careers. Jesus took this opportunity to teach his disciples the great paradox of life. This time it was about service. He said that the Lord must also be a servant. He demonstrated this to his disciples when he washed their feet during that last Passover meal the night before he died. Ultimately by his Passion, Death and Resurrection, he definitively showed us the only Way, Truth and Life. To be the least is to be great. To die is to live. To lose is to gain. This was what St. Paul wanted to pass on to his church in Corinth when he exhorted them to remember that even if trials come, the life of Jesus must still be manifested in them because they carry in their persons the death of Jesus.
For us who are beneficiaries of twenty centuries of our Church's reflection on the teachings and life of our Lord Jesus, what are the things that prevent you and me from following him who came not to be served but to serve, and who gave His life to redeem us all?
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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