Today's Gospel Reflection
Here's a reflection on today's Gospel passage, again from what I shared at Quellen Center:
May 30, 2007
Wednesday Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel is not the happiest of readings, yet as it unfolds it clearly relates to this week’s Gospel passages, all of which in some way speak to the sacred call and invitation that are extended to each of us.
In this reading, Jesus explains to the disciples what will happen to Him, foretelling His passion, death, and resurrection. Then two disciples put Jesus in a somewhat peculiar situation asking Him to promise to do what they ask and then proceed to ask to be seated at Jesus’ right and left, positions representing places of great importance. Jesus responds by questioning whether they really understand what it is they are asking, whether they understand the real price of discipleship at that level of depth.
“Can you drink of the chalice that I will drink? Can you be baptized with the baptism with which I will be baptized?” he asks before proceeding to offer them a different model to seek after. Jesus continues, “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” That is the chalice of which Jesus drank, the Baptism into which He was baptized.
What exactly is it that God asks of me? In following Jesus at the greatest level of intimacy, am I ready to be a servant to others? Am I ready to be slave to all? These roles are so contrary to our culture and society. How does one embrace them in today’s world? How can I embrace them? Our call is to be bread for those who hunger, drink for those who thirst, Gospel love for all with whom we come into contact. Am I willing to be poured out for others for the sake of the Gospel?
Jesus, you make it clear to me that you are calling me to place my existence at the service of others, to allow myself to be poured out for others’ well-being so that I may be filled with you. Grant me true generosity of spirit so that I may respond freely and lovingly to your invitation to be bread for the hungry, wine for the thirsty, Your love for all people.