The good news for the day March 15, 2017
Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent (232)
As Jesus was heading up towards Jerusalem, he took His Twelve closest followers aside; along the way, He told them, “Look, we are heading for Jerusalem, where this child of humankind will be betrayed to religious authorities and their counselors. They will sentence him to death, then hand him over to secular powers to be mocked, whipped, and crucified—but He will be raised on the third day.” About then, the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to Jesus and addressed Him respectfully—wanting to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you want?” She answered, “Order that these two sons of mine sit, one beside you on the right and the other at your left—in your kingdom.” Jesus responded, “You have no idea what you are asking. Can you drink from the same cup that I am going to?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My cup in fact you will drink, but to take a seat at my right and at my left—this is not mine to give; it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the other ten heard, they got mad at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them all and said, “You know that the people in charge of other nations exercise authority over them—and their significant leaders make their control over them felt. It won’t be that way among you. Instead, whoever wants to be significant among you shall be someone in service to you; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be someone who works for you. Just so—the child of humankind—the Son of Man—did not come to be served but to serve and to spend his life to ransom many.” (Matthew 20)
Here you find all the irony of Jesus condensed into an instant. Jesus is on His way to his fate—rejection, death—and, beyond that, Resurrection. He is NOT going to create a worldly empire, a religion of wealth, or some everlasting magic kingdom on earth. That ain’t gonna happen. But you and I want to be significant—we are the sons of Zebedee. You don’t want people to spit at you on Facebook, to mock your forgiveness of really bad guys, to deliberately misunderstand your confrontation of a world focused on profit, security and ego. You are here to serve—to consider yourself a loyal, almost invisible servant, a good child at home. THAT is greatness. THAT is the Good News.