Wednesday of 8th Week Mercredi de la 8e semaine

’For the Son of man came himself not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
Thursday 5 November 2015

Si.36, 1-4-5a.10-17 Ps.78 Mk. 10,32-45

Wednesday of 8th Week They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ahead of them; they were in a daze, and those who followed were apprehensive. Once more taking the Twelve aside, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him.’ Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and to the scribes.They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the gentiles, who will mock him and spit at him ad scourge him and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.’

For the third time, Jesus predicts his Passion. Doing this the second time, the disciples had not understood, to the point where they had argued straight afterwards about a question of rank. Jesus patiently attempts to explain to them about the Cup the Prophets talked about : ’the bitter cup’, the vertiginious cup, deserved by the sinful people, the cup deserved by the sins of his people, the One who will drink it will be Jesus! He doesn’t hide his way of sorrows, nor does he hide where he comes from nor where he will be going. Nor does he hide the way he will be going however difficult it will be. He expresses his love in light and in truth, this love that is rooted in the weakness of our humanity! He is the truth who sets us free in this weakness that is our own.The mystery of vulnerability and of suffering of the whole of humanity ends in Him, it is revealed in Him. The strength and light of Jesus will spread over all those who call out to Him.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him. ’Master’, they said to him, ’We want you to do us a favour.’ He said to them, ’What is it you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ’Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ’You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I shall drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I shall be baptised?’They replied ’We can.’ Jesus said to them, ’The cup that I shall drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with

which I shall be baptised you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left, those are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’ When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John."

It is a curious request, made discreetly.In their secrecy and their camoflaged way of broaching the subject, it was if the two brothers were afraid to express themselves clearly, so Jesus gets them to speak frankly : ’What is it that you want me to do for you?’ They want him to be on his right and on his left in his Glory, in his Kingdom.So Jesus speaks about his mystery of going down into death, a violent, unfair death. It is a revolting death of an innocent person who will be spat upon.The two disciples won’t draw back, combat doesn’t frighten them. They believe that they enter into God’s Kingdom at the service of Jesus in order to conquer a power and this will be their reward. On the right and on the left of Jesus on the Cross there will be two thieves, the good thief and the other one ; it is the right and left of Jesus in way of suffering.In the tenderness and mercy of his Heart, Jesus shows how we can follow him in his passion and how we can also drink at the cup of the suffering that humanity will inflict upon him : ’It was our wounds that he bore, it was our suffering that he carried.’

’So Jesus called them to him and said tot hem, ’You know that among the gentiles those they call their rulers lord it over them, and their 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 lave to all. For the Son of Man himself came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

Jesus is aiming at the will for power that is in the heart of a every single person. Indeed, wherever we are and whatever our situation may be, whatever our position may be and our responsibilities, whether there be ten of us, five or two people living together, we love having the smallest crumb of power. Without meaning to, we organise the world around our self, even the witness given to Christ, even apostolic commitments, these are there to improve our brand name, so that we slip next to Christ , on his right or on his left. Jesus doesn’t hide the fact

that they are going to drink from his cup, but this won’t mean they will sit at his right or at his left. The Son, tenderly loved by His Father, came down into our human nature in order to deliver us from the leper of sin. He brings us out of darkness, taking upon him the cup of cursing that he will change into the cup of salvation. He takes upon him all of our misery and he gives us back to the Infinite Love that has never stopped beating in his Heart of God.

Let us ask for the grace of Truth in our lives.