Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, 
Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 
and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day." 
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached him with her sons and 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 cup that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can."
He replied, "My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left (, this) is not mine to give but 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 served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Gospel commented,
“It is vain for you to rise early.” (Ps 127:2 – LXX Ps 126:2) What does that mean? … Christ, our Day, has risen. It is good for you to rise after Christ and not before him. Who are those who rise before Christ? … Those who want to be raised up here below, where he was humble. So may they be humble in this world, if they want to be raised up where Christ is raised up. For he said of those who adhered to him by faith – and we are among them: “Father, all those you gave me I would have in my company where I am.” (Jn 17:24) A magnificent gift, a great grace, a glorious promise… Do you want to be where he is raised up? Be humble where he was humble.

“No pupil outranks his teacher.” (Mt 10:24)… And yet, before undergoing humiliation in conformity with the Lord’s Passion, the sons of Zebedee had already chosen their places, one at his right side, the other at his left. They wanted to “rise early”. That is why they were walking in vain. The Lord called them back to humility by asking them: “Can you drink the chalice that I must drink? I came to be humble, and you want to be raised up before me? Follow me on the path where I am going, he said. For if you want to go by a path where I am not going, it is in vain.”