The humility that Jesus came to Earth with was truly part of His divinity. Jesus can walk on water, He can call the angels to His defense, and yet here He is, to serve rather than be served. How confusing.
Jewish culture believed that the Messiah would be a great King, a Prince who would free them from the Roman dictatorship they were suffering under. And instead, they were given a man who had no interest in tearing down the political scene. He washed feet and taught children. That expectation is what clouded so many people's ability to really believe in the message He brought forth and it is our expectations that still clouds our faith today.
Today's Gospel provides a much needed reality check for the Twelve and for us. When James and John's mother approaches Jesus, seeking greatness for her sons, we see a mirror of ourselves. We so often approach God in our prayers seeking something for ourselves; a promotion, a raise, a healing. Rarely do we approach God for the joy of spending time with God! We attend Mass expecting a great message each time, when we should be attending Mass for the opportunity to celebrate. We participate in a Lenten fast for ourselves rather than as an opportunity to strengthen our relationship in God. But Jesus reminds us today that we are called to a humble relationship with Him, not one of glory.
As we pray today, we should really consider where our intention for the Lenten journey comes and check our expectations. Are we allowing God's plan to work through us or are we trying to control it? As we continue to fast from the judgment and condemnation discussed on Monday, let us humbly remind ourselves how truly small we are and that God has already decided all things, including who will sit as Jesus' left and right. Finally, as we continue to give of ourselves, we should reflect on how much Jesus, the Son of God, was willing to give. How can our actions reflect that ultimate gift this week? What can we give?
Pray for grace, fast from judgment, give in Christ's image.