Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Reflection: Mark 10:32-45

Wednesday of the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time - Mark 10:32-45

Today the disciples are on the way to Jerusalem and Jesus is walking ahead of them. Mark writes: “The disciples were amazed yet others were afraid.” These men are still trying to absorb what Jesus had said to the young man in the gospel passage we read yesterday.

After a time, Jesus takes his twelve disciples aside and begins to prepare them for what will happen in Jerusalem.  He tells them that when they get to Jerusalem the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the Scribes. He then tells them that he will be mocked, spit on, and condemned to death. After three days, He will rise again.

Imagine the disciples’ reaction to these statements.  They know that Jesus is a controversial person.   However, they are stunned at the possibility of Jesus being arrested and possibly condemned to death. This is beyond their comprehension. And although they know that Jesus is in danger, they do not want to listen to what he is saying to them.

In the middle of this serious dialogue James and John come to Jesus and say: “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we ask.”  How brazen!  Here are two of his disciples literally ordering Jesus around!  James and John are not concerned about what Jesus is saying.  They say nothing to him about the prediction of his death. Are James and John not concerned about the danger to Jesus? Do they not care that He no longer would be with them?  They simply want to ensure that they will have a place at Jesus’ right and left hand when finally he is in his glory. Talk about self-centered!  Their focus was solely on their future!

Understandably, the other disciples are extremely upset with James and John. Who do they think they are? Do they truly believe they were better than the other disciples?  Jesus tells James and John: “You do not understand what they are asking!”   Then Jesus bluntly asks them: “Are you truly willing to drink from the chalice from which I will drink?”

How very human the disciples were!  Often they were focused only on themselves.  Do they not understand that Jesus was in danger?   They know that some of the Jews were plotting against Jesus.  Still, their self-centeredness prevails!  Some of the disciples are concerned only about their future.
When we pray or talk with Jesus, are we only concerned with ourselves?  Do we do all the talking or do we quiet down, open our hearts, and listen to Jesus?  Jesus has much that He wishes to say to us.  Perhaps he simply desires to be in our presence and have our full attention. Today when we pray, will we do all the talking or will we stop and be attentive to Jesus’ presence with us?  Will we be still and listen for His words to us?

Jesus also desires that we be servants to one another.  Are we willing to serve and love others as Jesus did?  If choose to serve as Jesus did, most likely we will receive much more than we give. What will we choose to do today?  Will we serve the people we encounter today or will we simply go on our merry way?  What a loss that would be! And who knows: if we are attentive and alert, we  likely will meet Jesus several times as we go through our day. Be awake! Jesus will appear to you!

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