May 27, 2015 Wednesday: Week 8 of Ordinary Time
Ambition of James and John
“Ten easy steps to success!” Such and other “sure-fire” formulas are being popularized and surprisingly, there are enough people who readily devour such recipes for success in life.
Human as they were, the apostles were no exception. James and his brother john plotted to capture Jesus’ friendly ear by making use of a very Oriental ruse: “get the sympathy of an influential person through a woman – their mother, (Matt 20:20). The other apostles were no less ambitious than the sons of Zebedee. They had banked on their close kinship to Jesus, for after all, they were His cousins (adelphoi). Surely, once Jesus would have established His kingdom, they would jockey for such juicy positions as the secretary of defense, of the interior or even the very financially rewarding secretary of finance. In no time, they would bask in pomp and glory.
As a stern reminder of what was really in store for His disciples, Jesus pointed to service as the genuine seal of His realm. Sacrifice of one’s life would cap it all. Generations of Christians – from Peter and the others apostles to the latest martyrs – proved the truth in Jesus’ words. His kingdom, unlike others, is based on service and forged in the life-giving sacrifice of His followers. (Fr. Flor Lagura, SVD Bible Diary 2002)