Reflections - October 18, 2015

“Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”  Mk. 10:37.
 
If we would hear today the request that the brothers, John and James, asked of Jesus we would regard it as normal in our social environment.
 
We like to be in charge and to be given honors.  The powerful leaders say they are there to serve, but they like to remain in office sometimes indefinitely…..
 
Where do these attitudes come from?  They come from a drive to dominate and to have power.  In some cases they stem from a childhood filled with frustrations and injustices.
 
However Christ came into this world to destroy with his redemption these desires of dominion and power, which are products of the evil one that dwells in us.
 
In this Gospel we can reflect on three manifestations of the evil one working in James and John’s attitudes.
 
The first one is that they do not recognize their limitations.  They are creatures that “without Jesus they can not do anything”.  They do not understand that the way to follow Christ is to serve and to “drink the cup of sorrow and the Baptism of the suffering of each day”.
 
The second attitude is to want to be a power before God, and they forget that Christ “though he was in the form of God….humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross”.  Phil. 2:6-8.
 
The third attitude is looking for safety and power where there is none.  They expected to “reign” looking for security in things that happen.  Jesus invited them to participate in the Kingdom of God, in the Kingdom of Love, to serve the most needy and revealing His wisdom to the small ones of this world.
 
They clung to temporary idols, “digging themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water, as the Prophet Jeremiah said in Jer 2:13, which do not assuage the longings of God.
 
Let us pray to the Lord in the Eucharist to help us reflect on our eagerness for dominion and power, and to give us the strength to Reign serving the most needy and carrying the Cross each day with faith, hope, and charity.