Lenten Reflection – 20 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent, Year C
“Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom”...Matthew 20:21
Basil of Seleucia (Died c 468) Bishop
Would you like to know the faith of this woman? Well, just think at the time she does such a request…The cross was ready, the Passion immanent, the crowd of enemies already in place. The Teacher talks about His death and the disciples are worried, even before the Passion they tremble at the simple mention of it, what they hear startles them, they are overcome by agitation and fear. At that very moment this mother leaves the group of the apostles and comes to request the kingdom and a throne for her sons.
What did you say, woman? You hear Him talking about the cross and you ask for a throne? It is a matter of the Passion and you wish for the Kingdom? In that case, leave the disciples with all their fears and worries of danger. But how could you think of asking such dignity? Out of all that has been said or done, what makes you think about the kingdom?
I see – she says – the Passion but I foresee the Resurrection. I see the cross set up and I contemplate the open skies. I see the nails but I also see the throne… I heard the Lord himself say: “you shall likewise take your places on twelve thrones” (Mt 19:28). I see the future with the eyes of faith.
This woman anticipates – it seems to me – the words of the good criminal. He, on the cross, made this prayer: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42). Even before the cross she made the kingdom an object of her supplication… What a desire plunged in the vision of the future! What time hid, faith revealed.
Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.
Jesus is telling us about His Passion, Death and Resurrection – for us.
Too often we are fighting over which of us is the greatest.
To take this journey with Him, is to take a journey
that draws us to be with Him in it and like Him:
a servant of love for others.
“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“The importance of Humility”
(Extract from a Sermon on St Philip Neri)
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
“But I would beg for you this privilege, that the public world might never know you for praise or for blame, that you should do a good deal of hard work in your generation and prosecute many useful labours and effect a number of religious purposes and send many souls to heaven and take men by surprise, how much you were really doing, when they happened to come near enough to see it but that by the world you should be overlooked, that you should not be known out of your place, that you should work for God alone, with a pure heart and single eye, without the distractions of human applause and should make Him your sole hope and His eternal heaven your sole aim and have your reward, not partly here but fully and entirely, hereafter.”
(The Mission of St Philip Neri, Sermons Preached on Various Occaions.)
God of Love,
through this Lenten journey,
purify my desires to serve You.
Free me from any temptations to judge others,
to place myself above others.
Please let me surrender even my impatience with others,
that with Your love and Your grace,
I might be less and less absorbed with myself,
and more and more full of the desire
to follow You, in laying down my life
according to Your example.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.