March 4, 2015 WEDNESDAY, 2nd Week of Lent
Jer 18:18-20 / Mt 20:17-28
[St. Casimir (1458-1484) was the son of the monarchs of Poland and Lithuania. He is the Patron of Poland and Lithuania.]
Reading: Jer 18:18-20
Then they said, "Come, let us plot against Jeremiah, for even without him, there will be priests to interpret the Teachings of the Law. . . Come, let us accuse him and strike him down instead of listening to what he says." Hear me, O Yahweh! Listen to what my accusers say. Is evil the reward of good? Remember how I stood before you to speak well on their behalf so that your anger might subside.
Gospel: Mt 20:17-28
When Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve aside and said to them on the way, "See, we are going to Jerusalem. There the Son of Man will be given over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law who will condemn him to death. They will hand him over to the foreigners who will mock him, scourge him and crucify him. But he will be raised to life on the third day."
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 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 the 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, and the powerful oppress them. It shall not be so among you; whoever wants to be more important in your group shall make himself your servant. And if you want to be first, 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."
To be chosen for God's work is to undergo a revolution. It is to face the unexpected, to face what may be to human nature's liking. Jeremiah expressed his utter disbelief that he had to undergo so many troubles when he was just doing what Yahweh tasked him to do. He was able to complain to Yahweh, "You duped me." Now the very people for whom he had interceded with God have turned against him.
No wonder Jesus' close circle of followers could not understand when Jesus tells them of his coming death. We do not rally behind a person who is a loser or a failure. We usually gravitate towards winners, personalities whose fame, popularity or power can rub on us and help us. We expect, at the very least, that we could benefit from or share in what these personalities have or what we think they have.
The feeling of disappointment or even indignation among the followers of Jesus is understandable. What would then be their share? Is there anything for them to share?
Jesus loses no time instructing those around him what following him entails, "Their great ones make their importance felt. It cannot be like that with you. . . Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest and whoever wants to rank first among you must serve the needs of all."
Pope Francis underscores Christ's words when he says, "Authentic power is service." Francis' following of Christ is radical: he shows it in his simple ways of leading the Church today.
We are leaders in one way or another, or aspire to be. How do we lead? How do we serve?
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
ARTURO M. MARIN
FR. ADRIANO R. TAPIADOR, SJ
IN MEMORIAM (+)
BENITO S. CUA (NOV 5, 1935-MAR 4, 2003)
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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