Lenten Reflection - Mark 10:32-45 by Luis Morales
“32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said,“and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law.They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” 35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” 41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:32-45
"I want it all and I want it now!" Have you ever thought this? Yeah, me too. Clearly, we covet the results, but do we ever salivate over the costs? We often try to go through the 15-item express lane of life with 18 items because...well, why not? We're in a hurry to get to the finish line and be served as quickly as possible.
That rascally James and John, trying to cut in line to be the heavenly teacher's pet. Who can blame them, though – aren’t we usually reluctant to pay the extra cost of waiting in a longer line? The best seats in the house are at stake and there's competition for them. How much do those seats cost? Being mocked, spit on and flogged? Death? Hmm, yeah, sure. I can hang with that.
But wait. The one scanning our ticket also says, "You'll be shown to your seats, but they may not be the seats you asked for (or think you deserve)."
At times, we make demands on people we should instead be serving. Our “me instead of we” society encourages us to put ourselves in front of others. It’s easy to fall prey to the old saying of, "If you aren't the lead dog, the view never changes." Humans that we are, we tend to forget the "love one another" part but remember "as ourselves." Not everyone does this and not all of the time. Just enough to complicate our lives and the lives of others.
The good news is that we've been shown the way. We have a chance for redemption. We can take heart that even the Divine One here on Earth acknowledges He does not make the final call. There is a higher power to serve and obey.
Perhaps during Lent we can remember that – as ashes to ashes – we are but humble servants in a divine purpose. It’s only then that we will have it all.