The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sonsand did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.He said to her,"What do you wish?"She answered him,"Command that these two sons of mine sit,one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom."Jesus said in reply,"You do not know what you are asking.Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"They said to him, "We can."He replied,"My chalice you will indeed drink,but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to givebut is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."When the ten heard this,they became indignant at the two brothers.But Jesus summoned them and said,"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,and the great ones make their authority over them felt.But it shall not be so among you.Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be servedbut to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:20-28
James and John were very ambitious to be high-ranking persons in Christ’s Kingdom.
Evidently this competitiveness and ambition were inherited from Mrs. Zebedee’s side of the family!
We can recognize two temptations at work in James’and John’s lives.
I identify with my namesake, because I find these two temptations are part of my life, too.
You also face the two temptations.
Every disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ must do spiritual battle against these two recurring temptations:
✠ The temptation to pride, and
✠ The temptation to reject suffering when it comes to us.
Our Lord Jesus plainly questions the Zebedee Boys: “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
By the power of God The Holy Spirit, Our Lord Jesus Christ chooses to dwell within each of us -- so He can be present to the aspects of our contemporary life which did not exist during His time on earth.
Jesus Christ wants to redeem every sinful and loveless aspect of human existence, in every age and time.
The mystery about this is, that God The Father often chooses suffering as the most effective means to redeem us from our modern sins and evils.
Our Lord desires that we make Him present to every pain and burden that people face in 2012, whether it is family strife, poor health, loneliness, psychological illness, financial difficulties, stress, faith-lessness, hope-lessness, love-lessness – in short, He wants to dwell within us and confront every form of sin and death within us and around us!
When we face these troubles with faith in His Presence within us, He permits you and me to collaborate with Him as He redeems these situations -- for us and for all the other people facing these situations, too.
“My chalice you will indeed drink. ...[Whoever] wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave and give his life as a ransom for many.”
Saint James eventually drank dry that chalice we heard about earlier.
He was beheaded by Herod Agrippa in 43 A.D.
Saint James was the first of the Apostles to receive the crown of martyrdom.
Mrs. Zebedee seemed to have been on to something, hadn't she?