Saint for the day: James the Apostle (died 44)
2 Corinthians 4:7-15 – Psalm 126 – Matthew 20:20-28
“They drank the chalice of the Lord, and became the friends of God.” (Today’s ‘Communion Antiphon)
What does it mean to say, “We can…” drink the cup of suffering that Jesus offers? Tertilian says, “The Blood of Martyrs is the seed of the Church.” We really know very little about the Church.” We really know very little about the Apostles & even their names are inter mixed in various sources. Yet they are the foundations of our faith. When Jesus is asked to give these “sons of thunder” places of importance in the Kingdom He responds, “it is not mine to give … but the Father’s.’ He then goes on to say what apostleship is really about. To serve. So we look deeper at what “to serve” means. The words of Jesus tell us that to serve means that we can’t “lord it over” others. If there is even a hint of self-service we have missed the point. And this is the crux: it is very hard to serve (or love) completely free of any ulterior motives. As we journey toward the Kingdom – in this imperfect world – our love & service will always be limited & imperfect. It’s only when we absent-mindedly put our desires for success aside that we later find that something great happened when we didn’t even know what was going on. This is not something that we can plan for or organize. No committee or educational degree can guarantee this to happen. It is rooted in love & happens spontaneously when we lay down our lives for another. If I only love those who love me – or can give me what I want – what good is that? Our prayer, then, is to take the cup that Jesus offers right now. Trusting that it will enable us to seek to serve rather than to be served. Amen!