10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Susanne Timpani (No.84)
Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the road he took the Twelve aside by themselves and said to them, 'Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised up again.'
Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low; and he said to her, 'What is it you want?' She said to him, 'Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.' Jesus answered, 'You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?' They replied, 'We can.' He said to them, 'Very well; you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.'
When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, 'You know that among the gentiles the rulers lord it over them, and great men make their authority felt. Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.(Matthew 17:20-28)
I’m a nurse; I’ve seen people suffer. I’ve helped calm women as they thrash around in the agony of childbirth. I’ve administered morphine when the pain of cancer becomes too much to bare. In PNG I’ve experienced heart break while listening to mothers’ wail after the death of their child.
If someone were to hand us a ‘cup of suffering’ why would we reach out and take it? Suffering is not something we readily accept.
James and John want something from Jesus; prestige, position, favoritism. What does he offer them? Suffering!
What do we pray for when we come to Jesus? How do we respond when He doesn’t provide us with the answer we were hoping for?
James and John went on to experience suffering. They endured, as we will endure; by Grace.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)