“Prioritising God and His Kingdom above all else!”
(Based on Jer 18:18-20 and Mt 20:17-28)
It was the place known as the Place of the Skulls…
A Man had died…
… a cruel death
… an unjust death!
Nature had witnessed the excruciating suffering of this Man.
And nature, silent and speechless, yet responded in its own manner:
Darkness enveloped over the whole land…
The earth quaked in anger and desperation…
The rocks split wide and many tombs opened up…
A few people had also witnessed the terrifying suffering of this Man.
And these people, though had voice and power, responded in their own manner:
Some were sadistically and treacherously ‘feasting’ their senses with the agony of the Man…
Some were appallingly indifferent and shockingly lukewarm…
Very few were enormously heartbroken and shattered..
Among these were a few men….
One by name, John… who was a Beloved of the One who died
Another was Nicodemus… who a secret follower of the One who died
Yet another was Joseph… who was from Arimathea, another disciple of the One who died
Among these were also a few women…
Most notably, the Mother of the One who had died!
Among others, a Mary of Magdalene… a Mary, who was the mother of James and Joseph
There was also another woman…
The last few hours had been extremely terrible for her.
She had witnessed the horrible suffering and death of a Man…
… and also experienced the pain of the Man’s Mother.
This woman herself had two sons.
And she knew the agony and pain of a mother seeing the suffering of her precious children.
And through those dreadful moments, this woman remembered an incident that had happened in her life…
Some weeks back, she had approached this Man with a favour for her children (Mt 20:20)
Her children, were the disciples of the One who had died.
She had requested, “Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left, in your kingdom” (Mt 20:21)
But the Master had responded, “You do not know what you are asking.
Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” (Mt 20:22)
She had not really understood the meaning of the Cup, back then.
She was more interested in securing a good place for her children, as it the case for every mother.
…standing before that same Master…who had died a horrible death… she understood what was meant by the “Cup”
… standing before the same Master’s Mother… who had borne immense pain of Her Little Child’s death… she understood what was meant by “drinking the cup of suffering”.
… the path to glory is only by treading the way of the Cross.
… that more than asking for places of honour, a true commitment to do God’s Will was needed
… that her request was triggered by a ordinary human concern and not tuned to seeking what was more needed by the Lord.
And standing before the Cross, she would have wished and prayed..
“Lord, not a place of honour, but grant that my children would follow you passionately!
Lord, not a seat of glory, but grant that my children may be faithful to you for life!”
This woman – the mother of the two sons, who are also called as Sons of Zebedee: James and John – invites each of us also…
… to put our focus totally on the Kingdom values and not on transient material concerns.
… to live in absolute commitment to God’s Mission and leave rewards to the mercy of God
Are we ready to put into place “first things first”…
… God’s Kingdom over every other materialistic wanting…? (Mt 6:33)
Are we ready to prioritize our concerns and focus…
… seek holiness and salvation over other transitory aspirations…? (1 Pet 1:16, Mt 6:21)
Let us be firm in doing the works of the Kingdom, despite the fact that like Prophet Jeremiah we too will have to face a lot of persecution and rejection (Jer 18:18-20)
Let us look to the Cross to draw greater inspiration to prioritize our needs and wants.
Let us look to our Blessed Mother who sought God’s Will for Her Child above all else.
God Bless! Live Jesus!