Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection May 29, 2024


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R/. O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord.

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: The disciples were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the chalice that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

1.      The scene in the gospel is rather interesting but is very close to our own reality. On one hand, Jesus is speaking to the disciples about the impending and fast-approaching painful fate of his in Jerusalem. He would be falsely accused and undergo suffering and death.

2.      But the disciples do not seem to bother at all, or utmost they do not understand him. It is strange that they do not seek to clarify or sympathize with him or assure him of their loyalty. Instead, James and John seek seats of honour beside Jesus, one on the right and one on the left.

3.      What happens is that their sight is only on the glory that Jesus would repossess. They lose sight of the misery and cross that should precede the glory. We may wonder how could they so easily overlook the pain of the Lord. How could such oversight and unconcern be possible?

4.      We too may become indignant just like the other disciples toward those two. Ironically, they might have been unhappy, not because of the wrong motivation and over-ambition of the two brothers. Quite humanly speaking, they might have been annoyed and jealous that they were snatching away the best chances!

5.      But, a little honesty would tell us that we are no different. Many times, we are not interested in the realities that the Lord wants to teach and caution us about. We are more bothered about our own interests. We do not try to understand the ways of the Lord but want to push ahead with our own plans and calculations.

6.      We want to jump over and avoid the way of the cross and reach straight at the glory of the resurrection. To desire to reign with Jesus in glory is not wrong. In fact, that is our destiny and we must aspire for it and strive for it.

7.      But, we should realize that Jesus’ glory is totally different from that of the world. The world’s glory is based on power and position. It consists of lording over others, being served by others, and showing oneself greater than others. But the glory of Jesus is processed through the way of suffering, sacrificing, and serving.

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