– Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent –
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favour of him. And he said to her, ‘What do you want?’ She said to him, ‘Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.’ [Matthew 20:20-21]
Yesterday we saw Jesus commenting on our tendency to miss the point of the life he is calling us to, and instead use what he is offering as a way to get what we want.
Today Jesus decides to take the difficult step of preparing his disciples for what is about to happen to him. Rather than understand the significance of what he is saying, they jump immediately to what could be in it for them.
Like the mother of James and John, we can relate to faith as a deal to be made. It appears to us that we have made an effort to believe in God despite everything the world throws at us, and we are trying hard to live a good life. It seems right that God needs to do his bit and give us what we think we need.
The problem with this view is that it cannot be sustained. God wishes you to be with him for eternity. The only way you will be capable of that is if you can love him for who he is, and not just for what he can do for you. For this reason, at various points in your spiritual life, God needs you to go looking for him, leaving behind the many things to which you may believe you have a right.
This is the path Jesus is indicating in today’s reading. On some level, it will involve your death and resurrection.
By Shane Dwyer