Gospel MT 20:20-28
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
The mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, thought she would secure a very important place for her sons in God’s kingdom. Moms always want the best for their children and her sons were some of the first chosen by Jesus to follow Him. I do believe she had faith in Jesus to be the Messiah and ruler over his kingdom. Even so, she didn’t understand how God’s providence upholds the world or what designs God had for her sons.
Today is St. James the Apostle’s feast day. He accepted and drank from the same cup as Jesus, for he was the first apostle martyred by King Herod Agrippa in 44 A.D. by beheading. His body was taken to Spain where it was buried. It was rediscovered in the 9th century and the Way of St. James, or El Camino de Santiago began. It is believed that the head of St. James is buried in the Church of St. James in the Holy Land where he died. St. James willingly became God’s servant and gave everything to God.
As we continue to live with restrictive measures to reduce the effects of the pandemic, we can hold on to our faith that God has a purpose and design for each of us. We can be hopeful the trials of the pandemic will get us to the place God has prepared for us. We just need to be willing to drink from the same chalice.
Let us continue to pray for our shepherds to be inspired by the Holy Spirit in leading us to drink from the holy chalice.